NORMAL, Ill. — A late-season slump is hurting the Quincy Gems’ chances of winning the Great River Division.
The Gems lost 11-5 on Sunday night to the Normal CornBelters in a Prospect League game on Sunday night at the Corn Crib. Clinton (12-11) lost 15-1 on Sunday to Illinois Valley but remained in first place in the second half. Normal (12-13) and Quincy (12-13) are one game out in second place.
Quincy has lost seven of its last nine games. The pitching staff has a 6.82 earned run average in its last seven games, allowing 87 hits and 51 walks in 75 innings.
The Gems grabbed the game’s first lead. Matt Schark hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. The homer was Schark’s 15th of the summer, and he is in second place in that category in the Prospect League.
Schark now has 63 runs batted in this season. The Prospect League record is 66 RBIs, set in 2012 by Matthew Tellor of Springfield and Giancarlo Brugnoni of Chillicothe.
The only other runs for the Gems came in the fifth inning when Ryan Hutchinson hit a three-run home run.
Starting pitcher Bennett Stice gave up eight runs in four innings and took the loss. Loncey Conyers allowed one hit in three innings, but he also walked six batters. He allowed three runs, and two of them scored on bases-loaded walks.
Billy Gerlott hit two home runs and drove in five runs for the Cornbelters.
Quincy takes Monday off, then plays twice at O’Fallon on Tuesday.
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