Prospect League

Gems sweep DuPage to keep playoff hopes alive

Quincy's Kyle Crowl, right, celebrates with third base coach Brad Powell after hitting a home run against DuPage at QU Stadium on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger 1|
Posted: Aug. 3, 2019 1:00 am

QUINCY -- The Gems just won't go away.

Quincy ran its win streak to six-straight games with a doubleheader sweep of the DuPage Pistol Shrimp on Friday at QU Stadium, winning the first in a 4-0 shutout and taking the second in a 3-2 nailbiter.

With both victories the Gems (32-24) sweep DuPage (32-23) in their final three games against each other and pull within a half game of the Pistol Shrimp for second place in the Prospect League West Division. Only the top two teams in each division qualify for the postseason.

It was a combination of heat on the mound and homers at the plate that lifted Quincy in game one. All four runs came off homers, and they were all hit by familiar names.

Joey Polak smashed two solo home runs, the first coming on the second pitch he saw in the first inning and the second in the fourth inning. Kyle Crowl ran his Prospect-League leading home run total to 18 with a solo shot in the second inning, and Cade Schares hit his eighth dinger of the season to cap the scoring in the sixth.

Nick McRandal pitched 4 2/3 innings of three-hit baseball with seven strikeouts and four walks as the starter, then Jacob Jones picked up his second win in as many days by closing the final 2 1/3 innings with one hit and no runs surrendered.

Before this six-game win streak the Gems hadn't shut an opponent out all season. They've done so three times in the last six games, with all three coming at QU Stadium.

Game two saw DuPage jump out to a 1-0 lead off an RBI double from Jack Surin, but the Gems answered immediately with Polak coming through again, this time with an RBI double of his own to bring home Drew Behling.

Polak finished 3 for 6 with three RBIs and two runs in both games combined, and the former Herald-Whig All-Area Player of the Year has 10 hits, four home runs and 10 RBIs in the last six games.

What proved to be the winning blow came in the third when Dylan Caplinger took DuPage pitcher Logan Schmitt yard for a two-run blast to make it a 3-1 Gems advantage. The Pistol Shrimp made things interesting with a run in the sixth on an Adam Lopez sacrifice fly, and in the seventh they managed to get the tying run to third base before Cody Vannoy induced two groundouts to end the game and secure his second save in as many days.

Cade Schares also hit his first triple of the season in game two, which ran his current hit streak into the double digits at 10-straight games.

The work isn't over for Quincy. First the Gems travel to face the Cape Catfish -- who secured first place in the West Division -- for a game on Saturday, then they close out the final three days of the season with one home meeting and two road matchups with the Springfield Sliders, who currently own the worst record in the Prospect League.

Gems 4, Pistol Shrimp 0

DuPage Quincy

ab h r bi ab r h bi

Toppel cf 4 0 0 0 Parks cf 3 0 1 0

Dyke rf 3 0 2 0 Behling 3b 3 0 0 0

Lopez 3b 2 0 0 0 Polak 1b 3 2 2 2

Navarra 1b 2 0 0 0 Schares rf 3 1 1 1

Surin c 3 0 0 0 Crowl ss 3 1 2 1

Goetz dh 2 0 1 0 Young 2b 3 0 1 0

Williams lf 3 0 1 0 Borden II lf 3 0 0 0

Hodo 2b 3 0 0 0 Vannoy c 2 0 0 0

Larson ss 2 0 0 0 Caplinger dh 2 0 0 0

Totals 24 0 4 0 Totals 25 4 7 4

DuPage 000 000 0 -- 0

Quincy 110 101 x -- 4

E--Behling (9). LOB--DuPage 10, Quincy 3. 2B--Parks (2). HR--Polak 2 (14), Schares (8), Crowl (18).

IP H R ER BB SO

DuPage

O'Sullivan L,4-2 5 1-3 7 4 4 0 9

Strepek 2-3 0 0 0 0 1

Quincy

McRandal 4 2-3 3 0 0 4 7

Jones W,2-0 2 1-3 1 0 0 2 1

Umpires--Home, Brad Zerkle; Field, Dennis George. T--2:03. A--NA.

Gems 3, Pistol Shrimp 2

DuPage Quincy

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Toppel cf 1 1 0 0 Parks cf 3 0 0 0

Dyke rf 1 0 0 0 Behling 3b 1 1 1 0

Lopez 3b 3 0 1 1 Vannoy 2b 2 0 0 0

Surin c 4 0 1 1 Polak 3 0 1 1

Belmini dh 4 0 1 0 Schares 1b 2 0 1 0

Shanner pr 0 0 0 0 Crowl ss 3 0 0 0

Hodo 2b 3 0 0 0 Young 2b 2 0 0 0

Williams ph 1 0 0 0 Borden II rf 3 1 1 0

Goetz lf 4 1 1 0 Caplinger 1 1 1 2

Larson ss 2 0 0 0 Harbin lf 3 0 0 0

Navarra ph 1 0 0 0

Totals 27 2 6 2 Totals 23 3 5 3

DuPage 100 001 0 -- 2

Quincy 100 200 x -- 3

E--Young (2). LOB--DuPage 12, Quincy 6. 2B--Surin (5), Belluomini (6), Gallegos (2), Behling (10), Polak (6). 3B--Schares (1). HR--Caplinger (4). SF--Lopez (1). SB--Toppel 3 (20), Dyke (22), Shanner (1).

IP H R ER BB SO

DuPage

Schmitt L,3-1 5 5 3 3 2 5

Strepek 1 0 0 0 1 3

Quincy

Peccioli 3 2-3 3 1 1 5 8

Harvey W,1-0 1 2-3 2 1 0 2 1

Vannoy S 1 2-3 1 0 0 0 0

WP--Peccioli.

Umpires--Home, Dennis George; Field, Brad Zerkle. T--2:14. A--972.