The Washington Wild Things scored twice in the ninth inning, but their comeback fell short to the Gateway Grizzlies 3-2 on Saturday night at CONSOL Energy Park.
Washington (36-47) didn’t produce much offense prior to the final inning totaling three hits through eight innings as Grizzlies starter Vince Molesky (4-6) kept them off balance through 7.2 innings.
The Wild Things did have a chance to break onto the scoreboard in the fifth with runners on the corners and one out, but Maxx Garrett struck out and Andrew Heck grounded out to end the threat.
They chased Molesky with two out in the eighth after loading the bases via fielders choice, single and an error, but reliever JaVaun West got Scott Kalamar to fly out to left to end the inning.
“You don’t win too many games with four hits,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto. “We started hitting just a little too late, tonight.”
Washington avoided the shutout in the ninth when Jimmy Yezzo followed a David Popkins walk with a towering home run to right to cut the Grizzlies lead to 3-2 with no out.
It was the closest the Wild Things would get, however, as they went down quietly against Gateway closer Pete Perez.
Jeremy Holcombe (1-3) got the start for Washington and kept them within striking distance going six innings while allowing two earned runs. Kolin Stanley threw 2.2 no-hit innings and Tim Giel needed only one pitch — a caught stealing — to finish the top of the ninth.
“Jeremy did a nice job even though he hasn’t thrown to many outings this year,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto. “Kolin Stanley did a super job as well as Tim coming in to finish the inning.”
The Grizzlies (33-49) put single runs up in the middle innings. Ben Waldrip hit a RBI double in the fourth, Garrett Vail scored on a double play in the fifth and Grant Buckner hit a solo home run — which proved to be the game-winner — in the sixth.
The loss stops a four-game win streak for Washington as they look to take the rubber game of a three-game series Sunday afternoon at 2:35.
(WAS) Holcombe (L, 1-3): 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K’s, 1 WP, 1 HR. 70 Pitches (41 Strikes).
(GW) Molesky (W, 4-6): 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K’s. 102 Pitches (69 Strikes).
(Photo Credit: Washington Wild Things)