QUINCY — The Quincy Gems took advantage of nine walks and four hit batters to salvage the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday night, defeating the Normal CornBelters 11-3 in Prospect League action at QU Stadium.
Normal won the first game 9-2. The doubleheader was played before a crowd of 1,843, the second largest crowd of the summer for the Gems.
The Gems (16-15, 3-1 in second half) are in first place in the Great River Division of the West Conference. They are one game ahead of Burlington.
Normal scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to tie the second game at 3-3. The Gems responded with five runs in the bottom of the frame. They used two hit batters, two walks, two singles and two doubles to blow the game open. Nick Iannantone had an RBI single, Jake Skrine had an RBI double and Matt Schark had a two-run double. The fifth run scored on a wild pitch.
Quincy added three more runs in the sixth. Normal centerfielder Billy Gerlott dropped a two-out fly ball that scored two runs, and Dane Thomas added an RBI single.
Trent Youngblood retired all five hitters he faced in relief to earn the victory. Schark had two hits and drove in five runs. Iannantone also had two hits.
Normal scored four unearned runs in the fourth inning of the opener to take a 4-2 lead. The CornBelters then scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning against Gems reliever Bailey Wendell to put the game out of reach.
Ryan Hutchinson had an RBI single in the second inning, and Skrine added an RBI single in the third inning to account for all of the Gems’ runs. Starting pitcher Matt Shover took the loss, though he didn’t allow an earned run in 5⅓ innings.
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