SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Twelve runs were more than plenty for the Quincy Gems in the first game of a Prospect League doubleheader on Tuesday night at Robin Roberts Stadium.
Fourteen runs weren’t enough in the second game.
The Gems jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of the first game and went on to cruise past the Springfield Sliders 12-2. The Gems fell behind 9-2 in the second game, then scored 12 runs in the final two innings but still lost 18-14.
The split keeps the Gems (21-20, 8-6 second half) in first place in the Great River Division of the West Conference. They are a half-game ahead of Normal (7-6).
Gino D’Alessio’s RBI single plated the first run of the first game, and Matt Schark added another RBI single. An error by the Sliders’ first baseman allowed two more runs to score, and the fifth run of the inning scored when Trent Youngblood hit into a double play.
The Gems led 6-2 entering the sixth inning when they scored three times. Alex Wattermann delivered a two-run single, and Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli drove in a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Tyler Carpenter hit a solo home run and Wattermann followed with a two-run homer in the sixth.
Michael Nunez earned his first victory for the Gems, allowing two runs and four hits in 5⅔ innings. D’Alessio had three hits, raising his season batting average to .404. He is third in the league behind Chase Carney of Champion City (.412) and Rob Weissheier of the REX (.408).
The Gems led 2-0 entering the third inning of the second game. Springfield scored three times off starter and losing pitcher Logan Tabeling to take the lead for good. The Sliders added four runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 9-2 lead.
The Gems scored five times in the sixth. Jake Stipp drew a bases-loaded walk, then Andrew Fay’s ground ball to third scored another run. Schark then hit a two-out bases-clearing double.
Springfield scored nine times in the bottom of the sixth against Cole Parkhill to seemingly put the game away. Quincy responded with seven in the top of the seventh. Clark-Chapparelli hit a two-run homer, Ryan Hutchinson had an RBI single, and Schark had another bases-clearing double. However, reliever Cal Engebretson finally recorded the final two outs to end the game.
Schark had seven runs batted in during the doubleheader. He has 52 RBIs this season and is well ahead of Jackson Jones of Burlington, who has 45. The Prospect League record is 66 RBIs, set in 2012 by Matthew Tellor of Springfield and Giancarlo Brugnoni of Chillicothe. The Gems have 18 games remaining on their schedule.
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