By THE HERALD-WHIG
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Quincy Gems took another step toward matching their best start in team history Sunday night.
Bryan Niedbalski's two-run double in the top of the fifth inning lifted Quincy to a 6-4 Prospect League victory over the Springfield Sliders at Robin Roberts Field.
The Gems improved to 4-0. This marks the fourth time the club, launched in 1996, has started the season on a four-game winning streak. The longest winning streak to open a season in team history is five games, last achieved in 2011.
The game was tied at 4 when Niedbalski doubled to center field to score Nick Roscetti and Jake Ivory. Quincy tied the game earlier in the inning after an error by Springfield pitcher Dallas Ponder allowed Caleb Howell to score.
After Quincy took the lead, the Sliders (1-4) tallied only two hits – singles in the fifth and sixth innings. Austin Tribby, Will Schierholz and Joseph Mortillaro tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Quincy after starter Brandon Ley allowed six hits and four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Tribby collected the win, with Mortillaro nabbing the save.
The Gems scored twice in the top of the first on an error by Springfield shortstop Nathan Prindle. Springfield got a run back in the second inning before the Gems scored a run in the third on Ryan Light's fielder's choice groundout.
The Sliders tied the game at 3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third before Marvin Campos bunted a run home in the fourth inning to give Springfield a brief lead.
Roscetti and Niedbalski each went 2 for 4 to lead Quincy's offense. Roscetti scored three times.
The Gems will aim to tie their team record for a season-opening win streak when they face the Hannibal Cavemen (0-4) at 7:05 p.m. Monday at Clemens Field.