Hvidsten’s RBI double in eighth breaks tie as Gems take one-game lead at top of Great River Division

Josh Hempelman - #45

Josh Hempleman | Photo courtesy of Quincy Gems

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Kyle Hvidsten delivered a tie-breaking RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to help the Quincy Gems defeat the Cape Catfish 9-7 on Friday night in a Prospect League game at Capaha Park.

The Gems (27-24, 14-9 second half) are in first place in the Great River Division, one game ahead of Burlington, 1½ games ahead of Illinois Valley and two games ahead of Clinton. All four teams in the Great River Division have second-half records above .500. Quincy plays host to Burlington on Saturday.

One night after giving up 22 runs, the most by a Quincy team since the Prospect League started in 2009, the Gems allowed the Catfish to scored five runs off starter Max Babich, knocking him out of the game with one out in the third inning.

However, four Quincy relievers helped quiet the Catfish thereafter. Josh Hempleman threw 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Braden Smith gave up two runs in the bottom of the seventh that allowed the Catfish to tie the game. Jake Syverson pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory, and Stephen Eskridge was perfect in the ninth inning to earn his fifth save.

The Gems trailed 4-1 after two innings, but Lucas Loos hit a bases-clearing double to tie the game in the third. Cape scored again in the third to regain the lead, but Quincy grabbed the lead with three runs in the fifth. Jordan Scott drew a bases-loaded walk, and Tristan Meny and Joe Siervo both scored on wild pitches.

With the score tied at 7-7, Jimmy Koza led off the eighth with a walk. Hvidsten followed with a double to right-center to score Koza. He advanced to third on the play and scored when Meny reached on a fielder’s choice.

Meny, Loos and Hvidsten each had two hits for Quincy. Hvidsten is hitting .357 this summer, sixth-best in the Prospect League. Loos now has 52 RBIs, tied with Alton’s Evan Broekemeier for third place in the league and one behind Chillicothe’s Tim Orr for second place.

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