QUINCY — With Brant Hogue cruising through the first six innings Friday night, the Quincy Gems’ 2-1 lead seemed relatively comfortable.
A nine-run advantage gave the Gems no worries.
Quincy erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and rolled to a 10-2 victory over the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp in Prospect League action at QU Stadium.
Hogue worked into the seventh inning, getting pulled after allowing a two-out single. He struck out eight, walked none, allowed one earned run and four hits, and picked up his first victory of the summer.
The offensive explosion certainly helped make that possible.
A walk to Nick Iannantone and back-to-back singles by Jake Skrine and Matt Schark loaded the bases for the Gems with no outs in the sixth and forced a pitching change. Pistol Shrimp reliever Demian White his Quincy’s Alec Patino on the second pitch of his at-bat to force in a run and walked Trent Youngblood to plate another.
Ryan Hutchinson followed with a two-run single and Dane Thomas jacked a three-run home run to chase White. The right-hander allowed four earned runs without recording an out.
The Gems’ Gino D’Alessio greeted Illinois Valley reliever Justin Rios with a single and Danny Sperling and Iannantone both walked to load the bases. Following a strikeout of Skrine, D’Alessio scored on Schark’s sacrifice fly.
The Pistol Shrimp got out of the inning with a fielder’s choice that left the bases loaded.
All told, the Gems sent 14 batters to the plate, scored eight runs and had five hits in the inning.
Skrine finished 3 for 5 with two runs scored, Hutchinson was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Schark was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Schark is tied for the league lead with seven home runs.