QUINCY — Connery O’Donnell pitched himself into the biggest jam of the night, and he pitched himself out of it.
O’Donnell loaded the bases in the eighth inning with no outs on a hit batter, a walk and a bloop single as the Quincy Gems held on to a 4-3 lead over the Cape Catfish.
O’Donnell didn’t allow a run, striking out the next three batters and earning the victory in the Gems’ 6-3 victory on Saturday night in a Prospect League game at QU Stadium.
The Gems (9-10) have won seven of their last nine games and are a half-game behind Burlington and Normal, who are tied for the West-Great River Division lead with 10-10 records.
Quincy took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on Gino D’Alessio’s RBI single and Jake Skrine’s sacrifice fly. The Gems added two more runs in the fourth inning when Bryce Miller hit a two-run home run.
The Catfish knocked Gems starter Matt Shover out of the game with two runs in the fifth inning, but Tyler Carpenter, O’Donnell and Tyler Youngblood combined for 4⅔ innings of shutout relief to put the game out of reach. Youngblood allowed two singles in the ninth, but D.J. Wright lined to Maag at third base, and Maag caught Andrew Stone too far off second base to complete a game-ending double play.
The Gems added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Jackson Galloway and Jayce Maag.
D’Alessio and Nick Iannantone both had two hits for the Gems.
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