Schark’s RBI single in ninth helps Gems get within two games of division lead

28 Matt Schark Headshot

Matt Schark

QUINCY — With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Matt Schark singled past a drawn-in infield to score Jake Skrine with the winning run as the Quincy Gems defeated the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp 7-6 in a Prospect League game Thursday night at QU Stadium.

Skrine, who is hitting .500 but doesn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify for the league leaders, hit a one-out single to right in the ninth. He stole second base on an 0-2 pitch, then moved to third on a wild pitch by reliever Mitch Benson. Schark then hit a groundball past third baseman Sam Link and inside the third-base line to win the game.

Tyler Youngblood earned the victory after recording three outs in relief in the ninth inning.

Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the third, the Gems took the lead by scoring three runs. Jackson Galloway singled in Ryan Hutchinson, then Gino D’Alessio scored on Nick Iannantone’s popout down the left-field line that was caught by Link. Skrine then drove in Galloway with a single.

The Pistol Shrimp scored four runs in the next three innings to go ahead 6-4, but the Gems added single tallies in the sixth and seventh before Schark’s heroics in the ninth. Bryce Miller’s double scored Danny Sperling in the sixth. Sperling’s double scored Skrine with two outs in the seventh. Skrine had reached base on a throwing error by Pistol Shrimp catcher Logan Delgado after striking out.

Skrine had three hits and two stolen bases for the Gems, who had 14 hits in the game. D’Alessio, Galloway, Sperling and Miller had two hits each. 

Quincy (7-11) is two games behind Burlington and Normal, who are tied for the West-Great River Division lead. The Gems are a half-game behind third-place Clinton.

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