Gems blow five-run lead, miss chances to tie game in eighth and ninth in home setback

35 Michael Nunez

Michael Nunez

QUINCY — After blowing a five-run lead, the Quincy Gems missed chances to tie the game in the eighth and ninth innings and lost 13-12 to the Cape Catfish on Tuesday night in a Prospect League game at QU Stadium.

The Catfish trailed 8-3 after six innings. Their rally started with two runs in the seventh inning against reliever Jake Stipp. Cape then scored seven times in the eighth inning, with three of them coming off reliever Trent Youngblood. Ellison Hanna blew the game open with a grand slam off reliever and losing pitcher Cole Parkhill, who didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced.

The Gems came back in the bottom of the eighth with three runs. Two walks and an error loaded the bases, and Matt Schark drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Ryan Hutchinson singled in a run, and Alec Patino singled to score Tyler Carpenter. However, Hutchinson tried to score the tying run from second base on Patino’s hit and was thrown out at home by center fielder Andrew Stone.

The Catfish added a single run in the ninth to take a 13-11 lead. Reliever Jack Payne threw a wild pitch that allowed Josh Caraway to score.

Quincy strung together three consecutive two-out singles in the ninth. Nick Iannantone scored Gino D’Alessio with his hit and moved Danny Sperling to third. However, Catfish reliever Trey McDaniel struck out Carpenter to end the game.

The Gems had three home runs in the game. Schark hit a solo shot over the center field wall in the first inning for his 10th of the season. Hutchinson hit a solo homer in the third. Dane Thomas hit a two-run homer that barely cleared the right-field wall during a four-run fourth inning.

Hutchinson, Iannantone and D’Alessio all had three hits in the game. Starter Michael Nunez, who pitched at Bishop Alemany High School in Stevenson Ranch, Calif., this spring before coming to Quincy, allowed three runs and six hits over 5⅓ for the Gems.

The Gems (16-17, 3-3 in second half) are tied for first place with Normal and Burlington in the Great River Division of the West Conference.

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