Prospect League

Gems take advantage of friendly right-field wall

Cody Klotz
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 24, 2018 12:10 am Updated: Jun. 24, 2018 1:00 am

QUINCY -- Cody Klotz and Riley Pittman are learning how a summer playing at QU Stadium can help their power numbers.

The right-field wall is 302 feet from home plate, and both Klotz and Pittman hit homers that barely cleared that wall as part of an 11-run ambush in the first three innings of the Quincy Gems' 17-10 victory over the Springfield Sliders on Saturday night.

The victory puts the Gems (13-9) a half-game out of first place in the Prospect League's West Division, tied with Terre Haute. First-place Danville defeated Hannibal 8-0 on Saturday night. After Sunday's home game with Lafayette, the Gems have five games in four days with either Terre Haute or Danville.

The Gems scored nine runs on nine hits in the first inning, with Klotz hitting a line drive three-run homer in his second at-bat to punctuate the frame. It was his second home run of the summer.

"It barely scraped over, but a home run is a home run in the books," Klotz said.

Two innings later, Pittman hit a towering fly ball to right that dropped just behind the wall for a two-run homer -- his first for the Gems.

"I got just enough to get it over," Pittman said.

The Gems now have 19 home runs this season to lead the Prospect League.

"I'm not complaining," Gems coach Rick Fraire said. "They're just trying to go gap to gap, but we got some good swings tonight."

Those good swings led to 20 hits, and the 17 runs scored was the most by the Gems since they scored 18 runs against the Hannibal Cavemen on June 10, 2016.

"I don't know if I've ever been on a team that's had 20 hits in a game, to be quite honest with you," Pittman said.

Every starter reached base at least twice. Kyle Crowl had four hits, scored five runs and hit a two-run homer in the sixth. Max McGuire had three hits and walked twice, and Cody Birdsong had three hits and drove in two runs to add to his league-leading RBI total.

The offensive production helped ease the sting of Friday night's loss when the Gems couldn't hold on to a 9-4 lead, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth in a 10-9 loss.

"We're not worried about yesterday. We only worry about today," Fraire said. "The boys played good today. That's what we're worried about."

Springfield gave the Gems a scare when Casey Dodge hit a two-run homer in the fourth, then scored five runs in the fifth. Starter Riley Boyd was taken out of the game because of his pitch count after allowing two hits in the fifth, and reliever Nick King recorded only one out, allowing two walks, a single off his leg and a bases-clearing double by Hunter Morris.

Reliever Tyler Jones got out of the jam in the fifth and earned the victory, allowing one run in the sixth and an unearned run in the eighth. The Gems scored two runs in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

Both Klotz and Pittman hope to add to their own homer totals and keep the Gems at the top of the Prospect League in that department.

"Knowing you can hit with power, you can aim for that side of the field and hope it goes out," Klotz said. "(The right field wall) fits my game. I set a goal of 10 to 15 home runs this summer."

 

Gems 17, Sliders 10

Sprngfield Quincy

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Raisbeck 2b-ss 5 2 1 0 Klotz cf 6 1 2 4

Miller 3b 4 0 1 0 Crowl ss 5 5 4 2

Weber rf 3 1 0 1 Pittman 1b 4 2 2 2

Stephens lf 2 2 1 2 Birdsong 2b 5 2 3 2

Griffin ss 2 0 0 0 Huber 3b 6 1 2 3

Smith 1b 3 1 1 1 Montgomery dh 1 2 1

Dodge dh 3 1 1 2 Campbell rf 4 2 1 0

Niemerg dh 2 0 0 0 Waznis lf 4 1 1 2

Morris 1b-2b 5 0 2 3 McGuire c 3 2 3 0

Hagenow c 3 0 0 0

Steinwert c 2 1 1 0

Poteat cf 5 2 3 0

Totals 39 10 11 9 Totals 42 17 20 16

Springfield 000 251 020--10

Quincy 902 022 20x--17

E -- Stephens, Griffin 2, Lundgren, Crow, Birdsong 2. LOB -- Springfield 8, Quincy 11. 2B -- Miller, Morris, Crowl, Birdsong, Campbell. HR -- Dodge, Klotz, Crowl, Pittman. SF -- Weber, Montgomery. SB -- Raisbeck.

IP H R ER BB SO

Springfield

Jensen L,3-2 2-3 7 9 9 2 0

Ricker 3 1-3 7 2 2 1 2

Sandberg 1-3 1 2 2 1 1

Lundgren 1 2-3 2 2 2 1 1

Altmyer 2 3 2 2 1 1

Quincy

Boyd 4 1-3 5 4 4 1 4

King 1-3 2 3 3 2 1

Jones W 1-0 3 1-3 3 3 1 2 2

Netherton 1 1 0 0 0 2

WP -- Sandberg, Altmyer 3.

Umpires -- Plate, Justin Phillips; Bases, Cole Lockhart. T -- 3:20. A -- 1,011.

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