Prospect League

Split keeps Gems' slim playoff hopes alive

Kyle Crowl
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 31, 2018 7:35 am

QUINCY -- Kyle Crowl admits it has been hard to not look at his batting numbers as he struggles at the plate.

The Quincy Gems infielder had collected just two hits in his last 21 at-bats and was hitting .253 entering Monday night's Prospect League doubleheader against the Danville Dans. He went 0 for 2 in the opening game, a 6-1 defeat, but came through in the nightcap for the Gems.

Crowl smacked a two-run double into the gap in right field in the bottom of the second inning to score Max McGuire and Jake Hahn, giving Quincy pitcher Derek Martin the only run support he needed in a 2-0 victory at QU Stadium.

"My numbers haven't been too great lately, but I'm just trying to do whatever it takes to get a win," Crowl said. "I knew that was a big at-bat because I knew Derek was going to have a big outing for us. Those were big runs."

It also kept the Gems' slim playoff hopes alive for at least one more day. Quincy (31-26) had a chance to catch Danville (32-23) for second-place in the West Division standings with a sweep, but a split kept the Gems two games behind the Dans for the final playoff spot with three games remaining in the regular season.

Two victories by the Dans on Monday would have eliminated the Gems from playoff contention, which made Crowl's hit and the Gems' victory even more crucial.

"The mindset now is we just have to win," Martin said. "That was our mindset coming into today, but you can't win them all."

Martin, a right-hander from Tarleton State University, did his part in helping the Gems stay in contention. He struck out three of the first batters he faced on the way to throwing six scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits while striking out 10 and walking one.

"I just needed to focus on making pitches," Martin said. "I couldn't worry about the outside circumstances."

Martin's solid outing was the second of the day for the Gems.

Right-hander Adam Nelson took a no-hitter into the fifth inning of the opener until Danville first baseman Damian Pierce led off the frame with a solo homer to right for a 1-0 advantage.

Nelson appeared to have a harmless sixth inning when, with one runner on base, he got a groundball up the middle by Jacob Talamante with two outs. However, the ball got through shortstop Jimmy Huber's legs for an error, keeping the inning alive.

Blake Paugh hit an RBI single on the next at-bat, and Pierce followed with a single to load the bases. On the next at-bat, catcher Ben Bianco unloaded a grand slam to left for a 6-0 lead.

"Stuff like that happens in a game. You just have to shake it off and focus on the next pitch," Gems interim manager Pat Robles said. "It's just one of those tough deals for Adam. He pitched a real good game, and one bad break made that go down the drain."

The Gems got their lone run in the bottom of the seventh inning when Ryan Mantle led off the frame with a single, moved to second on Huber's single and scored on McGuire's bloop single into center. The Gems, however, left the bases loaded to end the game.

Game 1

Dans 6, Gems 1

Danville Quincy

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Huffins cf 4 1 1 0 Rodriguez cf 3 0 1 0

Talamante lf 3 1 0 0 Klotz 1b 3 0 1 0

Paugh dh 3 1 1 1 Mantle rf 3 1 1 0

Pierce 1b 3 2 2 1 Birdsong dh 3 0 0 0

BBiaco c 2 1 2 4 Huber ss 3 0 2 0

Zunica rf 2 0 0 0 McGuire c 3 0 1 1

DBiaco 3b 3 0 0 0 Hahn lf 3 0 1 0

Gammon 2b 3 0 0 0 Crowl 3b 2 0 0 0 Minder ss 3 0 0 0 Montgmry 2b 3 0 0 0

Totals 26 6 6 6 Totals 26 1 7 1

Danville 000 015 0--6

Quincy 000 000 1--1

E--Huber. DP--Danville 2. LOB--Danville 1, Quincy 5. HR--Pierce. B. Bianco. SB--Huffins. CS--B. Bianco, Zunica.

IP H R ER BB SO

Danville

Davis W,3-0 7 1 1 1 6

Quincy

Nelson L,3-3 6 6 1 2 3

Abraham 1 0 0 0 0

T--1:27.

Umpires--Plate, Steve Mast; Field, Mike Hirstein.

Game 2

Gems 2, Dans 0

Danville Quincy

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Huffins cf 2 0 0 0 Rodriguez cf 3 0 1 0

Talamante lf 3 0 0 0 Mantle rf 3 0 0 0

Paugh rf 3 0 0 0 Birdsong dh 3 0 1 0

Pierce 1b 3 0 0 0 Klotz 1b 3 0 0 0

Kato dh 3 0 2 0 Huber 3b 3 0 0 0

DBiaco 3b 3 0 1 0 McGuire c 2 1 0 0

Gammon 2b 2 0 0 0 Hahn lf 2 1 1 0

Minder ss 3 0 0 0 Crowl ss 2 0 1 0

Bigani c 2 0 0 0 Waznis 2b 2 0 1 0

Totals 24 0 3 0 Totals 23 2 5 2

Danville 000 000 0--0

Quincy 020 000 x--2

LOB--Danville 5, Quincy 4. 2B--Birdsong, Crowl. SB--Huffins 2.

IP H R ERBB SO

Danville

Mayeaux L,0-1 5 4 2 2 1 4

Talpas 1 1 0 0 0 2

Quincy

Martin W,4-1 6 2 0 0 1 10

Schwab S,4 1 1 0 0 1 2

PB--McGuire.

T--1:31

Umpires--Plate, Mike Hirstein; Field, Steve Mast.

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