QUINCY — The Quincy Gems lost eight of their first 10 games, but new faces in the lineup may be helping turn their season around.
Five players in Tuesday night’s lineup were either playing their first or second game for the Gems this summer. They combined for 12 hits and 11 runs in a 16-3 victory over the Clinton LumberKings in a Prospect League game at QU Stadium.
The Gems (3-8) were hitting a league-worst .205 after a 7-0 loss to Clinton last Saturday. Their team batting average has risen to .253 after scoring 31 runs in their last two games.
Quincy starter Ryan Towers gave up a three-run home run to Kyle Lehmann in the first inning. He combined with reliever Bailey Wendell to shut out Clinton thereafter.
The Gems scored six times in the first inning. Jake Skrine, playing his second game in Quincy, had an RBI double. Danny Sperling, making his Gems debut, hit a bases-clearing double down the left field line. Dane Thomas, added to the roster last week, added a two-run triple.
Skrine added an RBI triple and later scored in the second inning. Bryce Miller also drove in two runs with a double.
Jayce Maag, also making his Gems debut, had an RBI double in the third inning, and Sperling drove in two more runs with a single.
Sperling finished with four hits and five RBIs. Skrine had three hits, while Nick Iannantone, Thomas and Maag all had two hits. The game was ended after the top of the seventh inning because of a 10-run rule that is being used for the first time this season in the Prospect League.
Normal is in first place in the West-Great River Division at 7-3. Burlington and Clinton are tied for second at 7-4. Quincy is 4 ½ games out of first place.
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