Gems fail to overcome rough second inning; division lead shrinks to 1.5 games

20 Tyler Carpenter

QUINCY — Four unearned runs in the second inning put the Quincy Gems in a hole they couldn’t climb out of in a 9-6 loss to the Burlington Bees in a Prospect League game on Tuesday night at QU Stadium.

The Gems’ Tyler Carpenter had four hits, including a solo homer in the sixth inning and a three-run homer in the ninth inning. Jake Skrine also had four hits for the Gems, who had 17 hits in the game but stranded 12 baserunners.

Joey Fitzgerald led off the second inning for the Bees with a walk off Quincy starter Michael Nunez. An error by shortstop Jayce Maag on Zane Zielinski’s ground ball put runners on first and second. After a popout, Rome Wallace hit a fly ball to Gems center fielder Connor Milton, playing his first game at QU Stadium. Milton dropped it, loading the bases for the Bees.

Sam Monroe then hit a fly ball to left fielder Jadon Arakaki, also playing his first game at QU Stadium. Arakaki misplayed it for two-base error, and three runs scored. Monroe then scored on Ben Nippolt’s single.

Quincy got no closer than two runs thereafter.

Matt Schark had two hits and an RBI for the Gems. He has a league-leading 58 RBIs this season. The Prospect League record is 66 RBIs, set in 2012 by Matthew Tellor of Springfield and Giancarlo Brugnoni of Chillicothe.

The Gems (23-22, 10-8 second half) have a 1 1/2-game lead over the other three teams in the Great River Division of the West Conference — Normal (9-10), Clinton (9-10) and Burlington (8-9). 

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