By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Matt Norton put out the fire.
After Rockhurst scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning against the Quincy University baseball team in Game 2 of Friday's Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader, QU coach Josh Rabe brought in Norton with two outs and a runner on first base.
Quincy's situational left-hander retired Rockhurst left-handed leadoff man Tyler Gans on a groundout out to first base. It was the only batter Norton faced, but it was a key out, as Teddy Rule worked a scoreless seventh inning to preserve Quincy's 3-2 victory. That came after Rockhurst won Game 1 8-7.
"He came in and got a big out for us," Rabe said of Norton, who has made seven appearances this season but pitched just two innings, as he often comes in to face just one lefty. "He came in and challenged him and got him out with a slider finally."
The split kept Quincy (11-6, 6-2) in a tie for first place in the GLVC West Division with Drury and Maryville. Those teams split a doubleheader against each other Friday.
"You always want to win two, and we could've swept them, but then again, they very easily they could've swept us," Rabe said.
That was certainly the case after Rule got into some trouble in the seventh.
He walked Anthony Davis to start the inning. Rule then struck out Patrick Chandler, but Davis followed by stealing second and moving to third on an errant throw by QU catcher Nick Tindall.
Rule got out of the jam by striking out Jordan Eckley and Josh Dennett to record his second save of the season,
Matt McDaniel walked a dangerous line for Quincy to earn the win and improve to 3-1. He allowed one hit and one run in 52/3 innings despite walking eight batters. He struck out five.
"He was a magician. He walked eight guys, but he somehow figured out how to not let up many hits," Rabe said.
QU took 1-0 lead in the second when Adam Hightower singled home Ryan Richardson. QU got a run on a double play grounder in the fourth before Hightower singled home Richardson again. Kenny May joined Hightower with two hits.
RU scored a pair of runs in the sixth with two outs. Rockhurst benefited from four Quincy wild pitches in the inning.
In Game 1, Eckley hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th.
Tindall's RBI single in the top of the sixth gave QU a 7-6 lead, but Rockhurst tied the game on Gans' RBI single in the seventh. Tindall hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
Rockhurst (10-8, 5-5) collected 19 hits off of five Quincy pitchers. QU starter Clayton Hicks allowed 12 hits and six runs in four innings. Rule suffered the loss by allowing the run in the 10th.
"We had leads at three different times," Rabe said. "We just couldn't hold a lead. Our pitchers didn't really give us a chance."