Prospect League

Reliever flies in to help Gems complete victory

Derek Martin
By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Jun. 13, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Jun. 14, 2018 1:10 am

QUINCY -- Derek Martin had quite a day on Wednesday.

He attended a tryout on Tuesday for the United Shore Professional Baseball League, a four-team independent league based in Detroit. He then caught an early flight that took him from Detroit to Chicago and eventually to Quincy Regional Airport, where he was picked up at 5 p.m. and taken straight to QU Stadium for a 6:30 p.m. game.

At about 8:30 p.m., Martin was on the mound for the Quincy Gems in the eighth inning, protecting a 3-2 lead.

About 20 minutes later, he was celebrating a 5-2 victory over the Terre Haute Rex. The Gems (7-6) are now 11/2 games behind the West Division-leading Rex.

Martin, a Tampa, Fla., native, said he enjoyed his flight into Quincy.

"The plane stayed really low, and I was seeing all the fields. They were perfectly square cut," he said. "It was pretty cool.

Martin still hadn't met his host family, but "I did find out my catcher (Max McGuire) will be my roommate," he said.

Martin and McGuire then navigated their way through the eighth inning, the most critical inning of the game.

Quincy scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to lead 3-2 after Jimmy Huber was hit by a pitch, sacrificed to second base by McGuire and scored after two wild pitches.

Martin struck out Lorenzo Elion, then walked Zach Milam. He struck out Austin Weiler but then walked Tyler Van Pelt.

Roby Enriquez then hit a ground ball up the middle that second baseman Cody Birdsong caught. He couldn't make a play, but keeping the ball on the infield prevented a run from scoring.

Martin then went to 2-0 count to Jarrett O'Leary, then went to a full count before striking him out. He threw 31 pitches but left to a big round of applause.

"I was hoping to pitch," Martin said. "I was just eager to get out here and get started."

The Gems recently lost pitcher Eddie Avila, who signed with the Windy City Thunderbolts of the independent Frontier League. Gems manager Rick Fraire believes Martin could attract similar interest.

"He's a gamer," Fraire said. "He didn't just show up tonight. He got here a little early and got to throw and said he was ready to go.

"You can tell he's a good kid. You saw his stuff. He's got a little giddy-up. I don't know how long he's going to be here with us. We just want to give kids opportunities."

Terre Haute scored a run in the first, but Quincy took the lead on a two-run double by Kyle Crowl. The Rex tied the score on a solo homer by Jarrett O'Leary in the fifth.

After Huber's run in the seventh put Quincy ahead, the Gems scored two more in the eighth on an RBI single by Crowl, who then scored on Jimmy Huber's triple.

Rex starting pitcher Lane Miller tossed the first three innings but was ejected before the fourth inning because he was wearing steel cleats -- a violation of Prospect League rules.

Gems 5, Rex 2

Terre Haute Quincy

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Jenkins cf 4 1 0 0 Rodriguez cf 3 0 0 0

Elion 3b 5 0 2 0 Adams lf 4 1 1 0

Milam 2b 3 0 1 0 Klotz rf 4 2 2 0

Weiler 1b 3 0 0 1 Birdsong 2b 4 0 2 0

Van Pelt lf 3 0 0 0 Crowl ss 4 1 2 3

Enriquez rf 4 0 1 0 Huber 3b 3 1 1 1

O'Leary dh 4 1 1 1 McGuire c 2 0 1 0

Wiskus c 2 0 0 0 Knrnschld dh 3 0 0 0

Shepherd ss 3 0 1 0 Beauchmp 1b 2 0 0 0

Totals 31 2 6 2 Totals 29 5 9 4

Terre Haute 100 010 000 -- 2

Quincy 200 000 12x -- 6

DP--Terre Haute 2, Quincy 1. LOB--Terre Haute 9, Quincy 5. 2B--Crowl (3). 3B--Huber (1). HR--O'Leary (1). SB--Klotz (6), Jenkins (3), Elion (1), Milam (2), Wiskus (1), Shepherd (1). S--McGuire (1). SF--Weiler (1).

IP H R ER BB SO

Terre Haute

Miller 3 5 2 2 0 3

Long 3 1 0 0 2 2

Hagedorn L, 1-1 1 2-3 3 3 3 1 0

Taylor 1-3 0 0 0 0 0

Quincy

Nelson 5 2-3 5 2 2 1 4

Engel W,1-0 1 1-3 0 0 0 0 2

Martin 1 1 0 0 2 3

Scheer S,1 1 0 0 0 1 0

HBP--by Engel (Wiskus, Shepherd), by Hagedorn (Huber). WP--Long (1), Hagedorn 2 (2), Scheer (1).

Umpires--Home, Tim Burch. Bases, Dennis George.

T--2:24. A--657.