The Springfield Sliders slugged four home runs at QU Stadium to rock the Quincy Gems 11-1 on Wednesday night.
Each home game, the Quincy Gems promotional staff selects a player from the visiting team to go hitless in the game.
If the selected player does not collect a hit, every fan in attendance receives a coupon for a free 44-ounce drink the following day.
Lee Poteat was the player selected Wednesday night.
Poteat made sure fans would not receive a free drink.
The Springfield right fielder slugged a two-run home run in the top of the first inning and added another two-run blast in the ninth as the Sliders rocked the Gems, 11-1.
“Right before the game when I heard it announced, I turned around and told all my teammates, jokingly, I was going to go up there and hit a home run in my first at-bat,” Poteat said with a smile. “And then when I did, I could not believe it. It was a big shock, but it was fun.”
Poteat was not the only Sliders player to leave the yard twice. Richard Miller socked a pair of home runs in his first two at-bats. Miller hit a two-run shot with two outs in the first inning for a 2-0 lead, and a solo shot in the third for a 6-0 lead.
The Sliders knocked Quincy starter Colin Wyman from the game with one out in the second inning.
Wyman allowed six hits and six runs.
“That’s baseball,” Gems manager Rick Fraire said of his starting pitcher. “Some days you got it and some you don’t. He is a pretty good ball player and he will bounce back. He just got here yesterday (Tuesday) and he will get another shot.”
Five different Gems hurlers allowed a total of 17 base knocks.
With the win the Sliders avenged a 14-2 setback on opening night last week.
“This was definitely a fun one tonight,” Poteat said. “Anytime you have 17 hits, you really can’t ask for much more. But this is just one win. It feels good to get this win against them, but we can’t be happy with beating them just one time.”
The loss marked the fourth straight setback for the Gems after opening the year with four consecutive wins.
“We just have to move on from this game,” Fraire stated. “It’s a long year, and at the end of the day we are still at .500 for the season. We have a day off tomorrow (Thursday) where we will regroup and come back on Friday.”
Tyler Engel recorded an RBI groundout in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Gems avoided being shut out.
The Gems collected just five hits and struck out 13 times during the loss.
“We just flat-out could not hit tonight,” the Gems skipper said. “We had a lot of strikeouts looking, and you could tell we just did not look comfortable at the plate the entire game.”
Quincy left 11 runners on base.
The Gems return to the diamond Friday when they play host to Kokomo. The game is the first fireworks night (after the game) of the season.