PRESS RELEASE – A GCS Ballpark record-setting 8,189 fans were in attendance for the “Best Night in Baseball” as the River City Rascals completed their sweep of the Gateway Grizzlies with an 11-5 victory at GCS Ballpark on Sunday.
The GCS Ballpark crowd broke the single-game record attendance of 7,917 that was originally set on September 2nd, 2005 against Kalamazoo.
In the 2011 regular season finale, the Grizzles were the ones to get off to a quick start as a Joe Agreste three-run homerun in the first inning gave Gateway an early 3-0 lead.
However, the determination of the Rascals to finish the sweep and tie the Frontier League single-season record with 68 wins in a regular season proved to be too much for the Grizzlies to handle.
The comeback for the Rascals began in the third inning with contributions from a couple former Grizzlies. After a Bobby Burk solo homerun got River City on the board, an RBI double from Logan Parker cut the Grizzlies lead to 3-2.
After the Grizzlies tacked on a run in the fourth inning when Case Rigby scored from third on a wild pitch, River City was able to tie the game at four apiece in the top half of the fifth inning on a two-run blast by Joash Brodin.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the tie would only last until the seventh inning, where two errors by the Grizzlies defense helped River City take the lead for good after a Jareck West pinch-hit RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Brodin made the score 6-4.
The Rascals got their five insurance runs in the form of a RBI single from Chris McClendon, sacrifice fly by Parker, RBI double from Stephen Holdren, and a two-run homer in the ninth inning from Chad Maddox.
Gateway scored their only other run in the ninth inning on a Kent Gerst solo homerun.
On the pitching side, Preston Vancil (1-0) got his first win in a Rascals uniform in a outing that saw him give up four runs in six innings of work.
For the Grizzlies, ace Mark Brackman fell to 7-5 on the year with the loss after he gave up six runs (4 ER) in seven innings.
For the Rascals, the win brought their final regular season record to 68-27, tying the 2007 Windy City Thunderbolts for the most regular season wins in a year in Frontier League history. They will move on to the playoffs where they face the Southern Illinois Miners on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies finished off their regular season with a final record of 39-56.