Gage erupts, as Griffons demolish Renegades
Jefferson City — Conner Gage is on an absolute tear.
The Nevada Griffons star third baseman has racked up 13 RBI over the past two games, propelling the Griffons to back-to-back MINK League road victories over the Jefferson City Renegades.
After dropping the opener of the key South division three-game road-set Sunday, the Griffons struck back on Monday — out-slugging the Renegades en route to the 19-15 victory.
Nevada then continued to pour it on, taking the series rubber-match on Tuesday, 20-9 in eight innings.
Griffons 19, Renegades 15
The Renegades opened Monday’s slugfest at Vivion Field with a bang, exploding for eight runs in the home-half of the first — seizing an 8-1 advantage.
Nevada then chipped away at the deficit, plating a pair of runs in the second, and three in the third — highlighted by Wesley Powell’s solo blast, as the Griffons trailed 8-6.
Trailing by three entering the fifth, the Griffons used a seven-run frame to go in front, 13-9. The bulk of the damage was done by Blake Faecher’s second round-tripper of the contest, as well as a Zion Mayberry’s two RBI double, and a Gage three-run blast.
The Griffons then tacked on a run in the sixth, but the Renegades replied with a pair in the home-half of the frame, trimming the Griffons’ lead to 14-11.
Nevada then pushed across a run in the eighth, taking a 15-11 lead. The Renegades stormed back with four run in the bottom of the eighth, knotting the contest 15-15, as Nevada relief pitcher Thomas Boothe was knocked out of the contest.
The suspense continued into the ninth, with Gage playing hero, as his RBI single was part of a four-run frame, handing the Griffons a four-run advantage.
Nevada closer David Ruot, who entered in place of Thomas Boothe in the eighth, recorded the final six outs of the contest — slamming the door on Jefferson City. Ruot (1-0) struck out four en route to his first pitching victory of the season.
Meanwhile, Jefferson City starter Alex Loosbrock was torched for 10 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings of work, walking four and yielding 11 hits.
At the dish, Gage powered the Griffons to victory — finishing 3-for-7 while driving in seven runs. Nevada catcher Drew Austin concluded 3-for-5 with five RBI and a pair of runs scored. Dominic Hernandez and Faecher also notched three-hit performances, as the Griffons pounded out 19 base knocks on the night.
Griffons 20, Renegades 9
The high-scoring affairs continued Tuesday, as the Griffins mashed 20 hits, resulting in 20 runs.
Gage spearheaded the effort, finishing the contest 3-for-5 with a home run, six RBI and three runs scored.
Nevada first baseman Lukas Polanco finished 3-for-5 with five RBI, while Mayberry, Powell, and Ben Palensky each chipped in three hit performances for the surging Griffons.
The victory improved Nevada to 17-13 overall, as they moved a half-game up on the second-place Ozark Generals.