Joe Agreste stayed hot and Brandon Peters got hot to carry the Gateway Grizzlies to a 13-4 rout over Traverse City Thursday night at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies took two of three from the Beach Bums to improve to 7-5 on the season.
Agreste finished with three hits, including his fourth homer of the season, scored three times and drove in three runs. The former San Diego Padres prospect has been torching Frontier League pitching over the past five games, hitting .333 with two homers and seven RBI entering Thursday’s contest.
“We’ve been working with him to swing at good pitches,” said Gateway manager Phil Warren. “He’s so aggressive at the plate that he was hurting himself earlier. As long as he stays within himself he will produce.”
As hot as Agreste is Peters was equally cold. Peters snapped out of his season-long slump with three hits and five RBI.
“I’ve been grinding it out and it’s good to get results tonight,” Peters said. “I’ve been seeing the ball great just have been pressing a little bit after the slow start, but today in batting practice I focused on slowing the game down and having fun again.”
Peters raised his average 51 points from .154 to .205 and had only driven in only four runs before a two-run double and a three-run double brought his RBI total to nine.
“He needed that tonight,” Warren said. “This is good for him. He had hit some balls hard but tonight he found some holes. He finally drove the ball tonight in some RBI situations.”
Agreste and Peters combined to drive in eight of the 13 Gateway runs.
Logan Parker got the onslaught started with a two-run homer in the first, and Landon Hernandez followed Agreste’s two-run shot in the third with a solo homer for back-to-back homers.
“Jumping out right out of the gate always helps,” Warren said. “After last night only scoring one run and leaving so many guys on that really helped. Logan is an anchor in that lineup.”
The Grizzlies hit three straight homers against Traverse City in the series-opening 7-2 win.
Josh Whitlock earned his second win of the season with six solid innings of work. Whitlock gave up four runs on six hits while fanning three.
Gateway’s defense continued to dazzle turning three more double plays after turning five Wednesday. Shortstop Ryan Khoury started a traditional 6-4-3 twin killer to end a bases-loaded threat in the seventh.
Third baseman Tyler Heil backhanded a sharply hit grounder, threw to first for the out and Logan Parker fired back across the diamond in time for Heil to tag out J.T. Hall, who was trying to advance from second, to end the eighth.
Gateway continues its six-game home stand Friday against Rockford. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Traverse City 000 130 000 — 4 8 0
Gateway 203 440 00x — 13 18 0
Rob Gariano, Chris Smith (3), Spencer Shelton (5), Don Pugliese (7) and John Parham. Josh Whitlock, Corey Davisson (7), Chris Enourato (9) and Charlie Lisk. WP-Whitlock (2-1). LP-Gariano (1-2). HR: TC-J.T. Hall, 4th, none on; Parham, 4th, one on; Tom Zebroski, 4th, none on. Gate.-Logan Parker, 1st, one on; Joe Agreste, 3rd, one on; Landon Hernandez, 3rd, none on. Umpires: Plate-Dennis Frech; Field-Bill Lopina. Att.-3,045. Time-2:51.