College Baseball

Clutch efforts push QU to sweep in final at-bats

Quincy University's Aaron Stone pitches to Rockhurst's Tyler Stamer at QU on Monday, Mar. 11, 2019. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger 1|
By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Mar. 11, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 12, 2019 12:30 am

QUINCY -- There's enough experience in the Quincy University baseball team's dugout that no situation ever seems too daunting.

Not even for a freshman.

Designated hitter Lance Logsdon led off the bottom of the 11th inning Monday afternoon with a walk-off home run to right field at QU Stadium for the first of two last at-bat victories that led to a doubleheader sweep of Rockhurst. Quincy won both games 4-3 to finish a three-game sweep of the Great Lakes Valley Conference series.

"All these guys know how to win and that's the biggest thing," said Logsgon, a Canton, Mo., product who was the 2017 Herald-Whig Player of the Year. "They know how to keep us up. Even when we're not playing our best, we can beat teams because these guys know how to stay in games."

Hanging around and forcing Rockhurst to go to its bullpen paid off immensely.

Quincy (10-2, 3-0 GLVC) won Sunday's series opener by erasing a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning as Chandler Purcell hit a game-tying home run and Jeff Hightower delivered a walk-off infield single.

The good vibes carried over to the tune of a 3-1 lead through six innings in the opener.

Rockhurst rallied for single runs in the seventh and eighth innings and threatened to take the lead in the top of the 11th when an error allowed it to move a runner into scoring position with two outs. Rockhurst's Tommy Kraus followed with a single to center field, but QU's Nolan Snyder threw out Eric Kuse at the plate.

That led to Logsdon's heroics.

"Scrambled. Crushed," QU coach Josh Rabe said.

Rockhurst reliever Nathan Miller, who had thrown 41/3 scoreless innings, left a fastball over the plate on a 3-1 count and Logsdon pulled it over the right-field wall.

"I was just trying to go with it, get a runner on base and hope for the best," Logsdon said. "Luckily, I put a good swing on it and ended it there."

The nightcap wasn't nearly as dramatic, but it required some resiliency.

Rockhurst broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh, scoring on a bases loaded fielder's choice with one out. Hightower, who came on in relief of Aaron Stone, induced an inning-ending groundout to avoid further damage.

In the bottom of the seventh, Quincy's Cole Evans led off with a walk and went to third on TJ Tamaccio's double. Carter Naughton greeted reliever Daniel Kolb with an RBI single through the left side of the infield to tie the game. After Chandler Purcell walked to load the bases, Snyder and Cody Birdsong hit into back-to-back fielder's choices with grounders to third base that resulted in force outs at home.

With Hightower at the plate, Kolb balked to force the winning run home.

"It wasn't the ideal way to win," Rabe said. "But it's a win."

Still, Rabe wants to see more from his offense. Quincy had just six hits in the second game, four coming from Tamaccio and Naughton at the bottom of the lineup.

"We have to figure out how to not make the same outs in the same way for that many innings in a row," Rabe said.

Strong pitching compensated for that. Senior right-hander Nick Stroud struck out eight and allowed one run in six innings starting the opener, while Stone, a senior left-hander, struck out six and walked one in 61/3 innings in the nightcap.

"The pitchers threw well all weekend," Rabe said. "If you pitch, you've got a chance."

Quincy found a way to make the most of its opportunities.

"That's all that matters really," Logsdon said.

Quincy 4, Rockhurst 3

Rockhurst 000 100 110 00--3 9 2

Quincy 020 001 000 01--4 10 2

Ruediger, Miller (6) and Kuse; Stroud, Stephens (7), Pribyl (9), Widhalm (10) and Hightower. WP--Widhalm (1-0). LP--Miller (0-1). 2B--Quincy 1 (Nielsen). HR--Quincy 2 (Birdsong, Logsdon).

Quincy 4, Rockhurst 3

Rockhurst 000 101 1--3 8 0

Quincy 000 002 2--4 6 0

Eisenbarger, Kohl (7) and Kuse; Stone, Hightower (7) and Kalusniak. WP--Hightower (1-0). LP--Kohl (0-2). 2B--Quincy 2 (Birdsong, Tamaccio).