Prospect League

Polak belts three homers to pace Gems

Quincy’s Kyle Crowl, left, congratulates teammate Joey Polak, right, at home base after a home run by Polak in a Prospect League game at QU Stadium on Wednesday. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger 1|
Posted: Jul. 11, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Joey Polak has been trying to get his groove back since returning to the Quincy Gems lineup after having his tonsils removed.

He ended up having a historic night.

Polak, a Missouri State University product and Quincy Notre Dame graduate, belted three home runs in the Gems' 11-7 Prospect League victory over the Hannibal Hoots Wednesday night at QU Stadium. Polak tied the league record for home runs in a game and is just the third player to do that all-time.

Polak is the first to hit three homers in a game since Chris Serritella of the Quincy Gems and Andrew Brouillette of the Nashville Outlaws both did during the 2010 season.

"I was really just trying to get back into the swing of things and have a consistent night," Polak said. "There's been so many good players to come through this league, so that's pretty cool.

Polak's first homer came in a three-run first inning for the Gems (20-17). He hit solo homers in the fifth and sixth innings as Quincy led 9-5 through six. Polak walked and struck out on his final two plate appearances to finish 3 for 4.

Polak's performance was too much for the Hoots (10-24) to overcome.

"He had a hell of a game," Hoots manager Clayton Hicks said. "He didn't single-handedly beat us, but he came pretty close."

Hannibal answered Quincy's three-run first inning with four runs in the bottom half. Jared Wegner got the Hoots on the board with an RBI single, and Joe Roscetti followed with an RBI groundout.

Damian Yenzi's two-run homer gave the Hoots a 4-3 lead.

Both sides traded runs in the second and third innings before the Gems tied the game in the fifth on Polak's homer.

A four-run sixth inning put the game away.

Tyler Jasmin picked up the victory after allowing five runs on seven hits across five innings. He struck out three and walked two.