The Gateway Baseball Club returned to Arnold Park for the first time this season, where the Padres met the A's. The Padres were backed by the Cardinals and Tigers, while the A's had the help of the Braves and several reserves.
After a scoreless first inning, the Padres scored four runs in the top of the second, thanks to a few walks, and clutch hits by Dominic Dedeck, Kyle Knisley, and Paul Kollar. The A's would score two in the bottom half of the inning.
Going into the bottom of the fourth, the Padres had a comfortable 7-3 lead when Tony Francik come in to relieve, his first time on the mound since the 2014 Wild Card Game. After a couple of walks and base knocks, Tyler McCann and Brendan Henson would hit back to back doubles, bringing the score to 7-6. Francik would escape the inning with the lead intact. No more runs would score.
Notables: GBC debuts were made for Julian Branham and Paul Crawford, as well as a return by Dominic Dedeck.
After the blockbuster McCann-Francik trade earlier in the week that sent Tyler McCann to the A’s and Tony Francik to the Cardinals, the two teams met in a 4th of July showdown that would produce fireworks early.
In the bottom of the first, Francik took an 0-2 pitch deep to left for a solo shot to begin the game. A's starter Tyler McCann was never able to gain a command, and the Cardinals went up 5-0 after the first innning.
Freese would come in to relief in the 3rd, allowing only one run via a second solo shot by Francik. The A’s would make it a game again against reliever Kyle Knisley, as McCann launched his 5th big fly of the season, a grand slam to make it a 6-4 game.
The A’s could not complete the comeback though, as Corey Knisley would add a solo shot, his 9th of the season to make for a 7-4 final.
HRs: Francik (2), C. Knisley, McCann
On a hot June Saturday afternoon, the first game was played at the newly renovated Jefferson Barracks Field. The game featured the Cardinals wearing the powder blue jerseys taking on the Padres, accompanied by Jeremy Freese of the A’s.
Both pitchers were pitching well through the first 2 innings until the Cardinals broke through with a 2-run shot by Tyler McCann, his 5th home run of the year. The Padres would try to battle back with a solo shot from Christ Bequette to make it a 2-1 game, but a late HR by Corey Knisley would be all the insurance runs the Cardinals would need to take the 3-1 win.
HR's: Tyler McCann, Chris Bequette, Corey Knisley
Another week of rain forced the GBC to play on the turf of Windsor yet again. The combined NL teams of the Padres/Cardinals faced off against the Red Sox/A’s Teams of the AL. The Padres/Cardinals teams would strike heavily in the first scoring 8 runs thanks in part to a Grand Slam by Tony Francik. to take a commanding 8-0 lead. In the second the Red Sox/A’s would get some relief with their pitching but after a leadoff walk Corey Knisley hit the first pitch deep to right for a 2-run shot to make it 10-0. That would be all the Red Sox/A’s would give up the rest of the game as their pitcher would shut down the Padres/Cardinals lineup but the Red Sox/A’s offense could never get going against Corey Knisley and he would give up just one run for a 10-1 Padres/Cardinals victory over the Red Sox/A’s Team.
HRs: Tony Francik, Corey Knisley
The new team format was used this week, marking a significant date in GBC history.
David Lankford got things started early, homering on the first pitch of the game. He stayed hot, hitting two more home runs, his first three of the year. The A's were off to a solid start, tallying a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second. However, a 3-run HR from Corey Knisley sparked a rally that led to 6 unanswered runs from the Cardinals. Tony Henricks hit his first career HR with the GBC, and it was a big one. It put the Cardinals up 6-4, a lead they would hold for the rest of the game. Tyler McCann pitched 4 solid innings, with Corey coming in to close in the 5th. The A's didn't go down without a fight, as Lankford would hit his 3rd HR of the game in the final inning. Despite his efforts, the Cardinals defeated the A's, 6-5.
Alex Henricks made his debut this afternoon, as a reserve for the Athletics.
Corey Knisley hit his 30th career home run.
Lankford (3), T. Henricks, C. Knisley
Blue*: C. Knisley, McCann, K. Knisley, Freese
Red: Caughlan, Kollar, Bequette, Rueweler
Sunday was still too wet to play at the planned Jefferson Barracks, so the Club took to the Windsor turf for the second day in a row.
Kyle Knisley was unable to finish pitching the first inning due to an overuse injury and yielded to Tyler McCann. Knisley was also unable to bat in the second inning and was removed from the game. From there on out, McCann and Corey Knisley caught on fire, blasting 4 combined home runs. The Red team fought back, with home runs by Paul Kollar and Chris Bequette (his first career), but the Blue team was able to hold on for the win.
HR's: Corey Knisley (2), Tyler McCann (2), Paul Kollar, Chris Bequette
Saturday's game took place between downpours on the turf of Windsor Field, originally planned at Jefferson Barracks. The game featured a large number of new players, who were predominantly on the Blue team against a veteran-heavy Red team. The Red team pulled out a win in the bottom of the 4th (only four innings due to time restraints) on a walkoff walk to Kyle Knisley.
Blue*: Kollar, McCann, K. Knisley, Hubbard, Freese
Red: Lankford, Knisley, Baker, Henson, Caughlan
Saturday's Mother's Day "Pink Out" Game was moved to Windsor's turf field, and still delayed 30 minutes due to severe rain. When the game did get started, Tyler McCann led the Red team from the mound against Joe Baker. He walked in two runs after loading the bases in the first, but quickly straightened things out and escaped the inning. The Red team was unable to score in the first.
Corey Knisley hit his first home run of the season in the 2nd inning, and another in the 4th, accompanied by two home runs by rookie Caleb Caughlan and another moonshot by Joe Baker.
The Red team's offense was quiet aside from a grand slam by Tyler McCann, his first home run of the season.
The game ended 12-7 after 5 innings.
HR's: Corey Knisley (2), Caleb Caughlan (2), Joe Baker
*Remember, this weeks home runs benefit the American Cancer Society in honor of Mother's Day. Click here to donate.
This day's game ended in a draw due to time constraints.
Blue: Kollar, Caughlan, Wagner, Baker, Buscato
Red*: Corley, Voelker, C. Knisley, K. Knisley, Henson
Friday's short 3-inning game certainly had no shortage of excitement.
Corey Knisley allowed 5 runs in the top of the first, including a 2-run bomb by Joe Baker. The Red Team quickly got them back, and tied the game 5-5 after 1.
Baker launched his second 2-run home run in the second, but scored no more. The Red Team scored 3 in the second, going into the last inning with a 1-run lead.
Corey Knisley loaded the bases before Kyle came in and not only walked in the tying run, but allowed 3 more to score, giving the Blue Team an 11-8 lead. Paul Kollar came in in the bottom of the third inning to relieve a tired Joe Baker. Kollar had not pitched in weeks, and the Red Team rallied to tie the game at 11. With bases loaded and one out, Kyle Knisley went deep to left-center with a walk off grand slam, giving the Red Team a much needed win.
Home Runs: Baker (2), K. Knisley