Dalton Schumer hit a home run and drove in four runs Sunday night to help the Gems to an 8-3 win over rival Danville.
Dalton Schumer wanted to make sure the Quincy Gems losing streak came to an end Sunday night. The starting shortstop hit a home run and drove in four runs to help the Gems to an 8-3 win over Prospect League Western Division rival Danville.
The win came on the heels of a 5-2 loss in the first game of a twinbill against the visiting Dans, which marked eight straight losses.
“It’s been a tough week, but this just feels good to top it off with a W,” Schumer said.
The Maryville University junior sent a 2-2 pitch over the right-field fence in the bottom of the first inning giving the Gems an early 2-0 lead.
“A lot of this summer I have been working on my two-strike approach, just trying to start everything a little later,” he explained of two-run first-inning homer. “Luckily I got a fastball out over the plate, and I just tried to hit it as hard as I could.”
Schumer added RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings, as he finished game 3-for-3.
“Oh man, he has been one of our most consistent guys all season,” Gems co-head coach Adam Hightower said of his starting shortstop. “He continued that today. He is proving to be a guy where we need a big hit, he is coming through in the clutch to help us.”
Two-out RBI hits by Chris Colarossi (double) and Welles Cooley (single) brought the Dans even with the hosts in the top of the fourth inning.
But the Gems had an answer.
Kyle Burnett recorded the first of five hits in the home half of the fifth inning with a double, which started a three-run rally.
Nolan Snyder followed with an RBI triple for the go-ahead run before Blake Hart delivered a pinch-hit RBI single up the middle for a 4-2 lead.
Schumer capped the inning with a run-scoring single.
The response by the Gems is something they have struggled with before Sunday night, Schumer said.
“It seems like we score early and give up a lead, we don’t get those extra runs,” the Gems hitting hero said. “ So it was nice to get those runs in the fourth and also in the sixth innings.”
The Gems put the game on ice with five more hits and three runs in the last of the sixth inning to stretch their lead to 8-2.
Bradley Harrison and Schumer both recorded RBI singles before Kyle Burnett drew a bases-loaded walk for the final tally.
“The games kind of flip-flopped tonight,” Hightower mentioned. “They (Dans) were the team who were able to add on in the first game, where we did a better job in that situation in the second game. That is something we have failed to do on a regular basis, so it was just (good) to see tonight.”
Relievers Alex Dorothy and Michael Starcevich also played vital roles in the win.
The southpaw Dorothy fanned three straight Dans in the top of the fifth inning after the first two batters reached.
“When you only have four hits in a game and fail to score in the situation like we had in the fifth, it’s really hard to win games,” Danville coach Eric Coleman said.
Starcevich registered four punchouts in his two innings of work as he earned the save. The hard-throwing righty struck out the side in the sixth before allowing a run on one hit in the seventh.
“It’s nice to have someone like him (Starcevich) who comes out of the pen throwing as hard as he does and gets strikes,” Schumer said. “He just attacks the zone with his fastballs and curveballs and that’s what you want your closer to be able to come in and do.”
The Gems outhit Danville 11-4 in the win.
In the first game, the Dans (11-13) pounded out 13 hits.
Cleanup hitter Micheal Rothmund did the most damage, as he finished a perfect 4-for-4 at the dish with a home run and drove in three.
“There’s a reason why he led all of Division II in home runs this past year,” Coleman said of Rothmund. “Michael swung the bat well and we were fortunate to get good enough pitching for the win.”
Kyle Crowl homered and Bradley Harrison recorded an RBI double to account for the only two Gem runs in the loss.
The Gems (7-17) hit the road for four games starting with pair of games in Lafayette (Ind.) Tuesday night.
“Getting a win period is good, but hopefully we can carry this momentum on the road with us,” Hightower said.