Hutchinson’s RBI single caps rally as Gems win before biggest crowd of season

8 Ryan Hutchinson Headshot

Ryan Hutchinson

QUINCY — Ryan Hutchinson’s RBI single to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning was the finishing touch on a rally from a five-run deficit as the Quincy Gems defeated the Normal CornBelters 7-6 on Friday night in a Prospect League game in front of the biggest crowd of the season ar QU Stadium.

The Gems (15-14, 2-0 in second half) moved over the .500 level for the first time since opening the season with a victory. Quincy is in first place in the Great River Division of the West Conference, a half-game ahead of Burlington.

Matt Schark started the ninth inning with a ground ball to Normal third baseman Will Carpenter, who threw the ball away for a two-base error. After Jackson Galloway struck out, Dane Thomas singled to center, moving Schark to third. Hutchinson then singled softly into left field to bring home Schark with the winning run, sending 1,980 fans home happy.

Michael Sclafani held the Gems to one run through six innings. Quincy scored four times off reliever Jon Fisher in the seventh. Hutchinson started the frame with a solo home run. Bryce Miler doubled, and Gino D’Alessio drew a one-out walk. After Nick Iannantone struck out, Jake Skrine tripled to center to score two runs. Schark then singled to drive in Skrine.

The Gems tied the score in the eighth when D’Alessio drew a bases loaded walk. However, CornBelters reliever Jacob Lotz struck out Iannantone and got Skrine to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Alex Wattermann pitched 1⅔ innings of scoreless relief for the Gems, but the victory went to Bailey Wendell, who retired the only batter he faced in the ninth. Schark and Hutchinson both had three hits for the Gems, who have won four straight.

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