QUINCY, Ill. — The Hannibal Hoots ended up on the wrong side of a historic night Wednesday.
Quincy Gems designated hitter Joey Polak smacked three home runs, becoming just the third player in Prospect League history to do so in a single game, as the Hoots fell 11-7 at QU Stadium.
Polak was the first player to belt three home runs in a game since Chris Serritella of the Quincy Gems and Andrew Brouillette of the Nashville Outlaws both did during the 2010 season.
"(Polak) had a hell of a game," Hoots manager Clayton Hicks said. "He didn’t single-handedly beat us, but he came pretty close."
He gave the Gems (20-17) the lead for good.
Hannibal (10-24) led 5-4 through three innings after Joe Roscetti’s homer in the bottom half of the inning. Quincy, however, tied the game in the with on Polak’s second home run of the game in the fifth. His third homer of the night came in the sixth, which gave the Gems a 6-5 advantage.
Kal Youngquist and Dylan Caplinger also hit homers in part of a four-run sixth inning.
The Gems hit six home runs off Hoots’ pitchers. Hannibal, however, hit three of its own.
Damian Yenzi smacked a two-run shot to highlight Hannibal’s four-run first inning. Grant Hannant belted a solo shot in the ninth inning, but the Hoots couldn’t get any closer.
The Hoots’ Adrian Santiago made a spot start on the mound, and he went 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits while striking out four and walking four.
"It was an unfair position to him, but he wanted to do it," Hicks said. "We thought with what we thought would be best and just hope we could catch lightning in a bottle."
The Hoots had nine hits, and three came from Hannant.
Austin Wood and Jared Wegner each had two hits for the Hoots, who have now lost three straight games.