NORMAL, Ill. — Gino D’Alessio’s home run in the eighth inning gave the Quincy Gems a 4-3 victory over the Normal Cornbelters in the first game of a Friday night doubleheader, but the Gems were limited to six hits in a 4-2 loss in the nightcap at the Corn Crib.
The Gems (19-18, 6-4 second half) are a half-game ahead of the CornBelters for first place in the Great River Division of the West Conference.
Trailing 3-1 entering the sixth inning, Quincy tied the score. Danny Sperling led off with a single, and Matt Schark hit his second home run of the game. Schark’s 13 homers put him in second place in Prospect League, trailing Burlington’s Jackson Jones (15). Schark’s 44 RBIs ties him with West Virginia’s Pat Mills for the league lead.
Connery O’Donnell earned the victory with 3⅓ innings of scoreless relief. Normal had a hit batter, a walk and a single in the seventh inning but could not push across the winning run.
The Cornbelters scored all of their runs in the first inning against Bailey Wendell, the Gems’ starter and loser. Wendell and reliever Tyler Carpenter combined to allow just two hits in the next five innings.
Jackson Galloway had an RBI triple in the third for the Gems. Trent Youngblood singled in Danny Sperling in the fourth inning.
Austin Collinson pitched seven innings for the complete game victory for the Cornbelters. He retired the last 10 batters he faced.