Prospect League

Gems rally from down 6-0 for seventh straight win

Quincy Gems left fielder Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli smiles as he rounds first base after leading off the fifth inning with a home while Springfield Sliders pitcher TJ Painter looks for a ball from the umpire during Sunday night's Prospect League game at QU Stadium. The Gems rallied from a 6-0 deficit to win 10-8. | H-W Photo/Thorn Compton
By THORN COMPTON
Sports Editor | 217-221-3376
tcompton@whig.com | @ComptonWHIG
Posted: Jun. 24, 2019 12:50 am Updated: Jun. 24, 2019 12:51 am

QUINCY -- The Quincy Gems have knocked the cover off the ball during their recent win streak, but Sunday was a different story entirely.

Springfield owned a 6-0 lead after the top of the second inning of Sunday's Prospect League meeting and seemed on the way to snapping the Gems' six-game streak, but there was no panic in the Quincy dugout.

Maybe the Gems knew they were about to explode offensively. Quincy outscored Springfield 10-2 from that point forward for a 10-8 victory, its seventh straight.

Quincy shortstop Kyle Crowl, who had a solo home run in the fifth inning to make it a one-run game, said nobody was worried after falling behind early.

"It was just, ‘Hey, we're going to do what we do,'" he said. "We've been swinging the bat really well. We've scored 13 runs every game for the last week or so, so there was no concern. We knew we could get it done."

It was actually the fifth straight time the Gems (11-9) have scored 10 or more runs, and they are averaging a little more than 12 runs per game during this streak.

Crowl specifically has been raking of late, as he has four home runs in the last three games.

"I've been feeling good. I struggled a lot before last week, but I went to the cage and did a lot of work with our hitting coach (Brad Powell) and (head coach Pat Robles) and I am starting to come together and it's starting to flow together," Crowl said.

It was a former Quincy Notre Dame standout and a Gems newcomer who got the offense going. Joey Polak led off the second inning with a single, then Ricky Jimenez, playing in his third game with the team, brought him in two batters later with an RBI single. An RBI groundout from Cody Vannoy made it a 6-2 deficit.

After a scoreless third, Polak led off the fourth with a single, and once again, Jimenez brought Polak around with an RBI single. Jimenez finished 4 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs, including scoring the tying run in the seventh inning.

The Sliders (7-12) added a run in the top of the fifth, but a leadoff homer by Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli and the solo shot by Crowl made it a one-run game.

The real damage came in the seventh, when Quincy cut loose for four runs, highlighted by a two-RBI single by Clark-Chiapparelli.

While the bats were hot, a great relief appearance by Ryan Ignoffo held the game together. Quincy starter Tyler Jasmin allowed six runs and seven hits in the first 12/3 innings, putting Ignoffo in a precarious position when he entered for the final out in the second.

"(Robles) told me I was going today, but I didn't expect to come in in the second inning," Ignoffo said. "I was hoping to come in during the fourth or the fifth, but Jasmin struggled a little bit, didn't have the best day, and I just had to come in and back him up and put up some zeroes on the scoreboard."

Ingnoffo would do just that, immediately getting the last out of the second then going five more innings while giving up four hits and one run and striking out five on his way to his first victory of the year.

"My slider, curveball and change-up were working today," he said. "I was working the zone and I knew if something was hit past me the guys behind me would field those balls and make the plays. It worked out how I wanted it."

After starting the year at 4-9, the Gems are now two games back of the Cape Catfish for the top spot in the West Division.

"We were sick of losing," Crowl said of the turnaround. "Five straight losses, you look around and it ain't fun if you're losing. Everyone says it's summer ball, but as a group of guys you sit down and say, ‘It's not fun losing.' We've got a really good group of guys around here and we want to win, so we sat down together and decided to go out there and compete and win."