MOLINE -- Earlier this week, the Moline baseball team had Anfernee Crompton leading off and Braden Mosley hitting second. Maroons coach Craig Schimmel decided to "mix things up"
That has led to some positive results for Moline (6-7, 1-1), which has won two of the three games since, including splitting their Western Big 6 Conference doubleheader with Alleman (6-3, 1-1) on Saturday at Holmgren Field in Moline. The Pioneers took Game 1 10-9. The Maroons won the nightcap 9-8 in nine innings.
The mixing up that Schimmel did was flipping Mosley and Crompton in the lineup. Since then, the pair has gone 11-for-24 with four home runs, 10 RBIs and a pair of walk-off hits. Including 7-for-16 with 5 RBIs on Saturday. Crompton had the game winning hit in Game 2.
"He's a sophomore and he's been really good for us all year. He's a competitor, I'm not surprised that he came through," Schimmel said of Crompton, whose ninth-inning single won Game 2 for the Maroons.
Crompton's game-winning hit was set up by a pair of Pioneer errors and an intentional walk delivered to Mosley.
"I knew they would walk Braden. I just wanted to be big for the team." Crompton said, "Hitting a walk-off in my first Western Big 6 doubleheader is a great experience. It's something that I will always remember."
Moline needed a pair of seventh-inning runs just to force extra innings after giving up an early 6-2 lead. The Maroons used an Alleman error and a sacrifice fly by Mitch Peterson to tie the game at 8 and force extras.
The Maroons held a 3-0 lead going into the fourth inning of Game 1, taking momentum after a lead-off home run by Mosley. Starting pitcher Mitch Owens had yet to allow a hit in 3 1/3 innings.
"I thought we were dead. We talked about matching Moline's intensity on their home field. And we weren't,'' said Alleman coach Chris Lemon, whose club finally got a fourth-inning double from Gunnar Haskins that led to the Pioneers' first run. "From that point on, we matched them the rest of the day."
Moline got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-1. In the fifth, though, the game changed drastically. That was when the Pioneers sent 10 hitters to the plate, knocking out six hits and used a Moline error to take a 7-5 lead.
Moline erased that deficit in the bottom half of the frame, but the Pioneers scored three more runs in the sixth and the seventh innings. Those runs were much needed, as Mosley hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh.
"We competed well all day. We've had a chance to win the game in each of the last three games we have played." Schimmel said, "After we lost Game 1, I told them to fix up the field, get a sandwich and get ready to play. Don't overhype things, it's better to be 1-1 than 0-2."
Knowing what they have offensively and on the mound, Coach Lemon knows what his team needs to do to move forward after Saturday's split.
"We have five things to work on, the first four are defense and I'm not sure what the fifth is yet," Lemon, who's team committed seven errors on the day, "We had an inning where we gave them seven outs in Game 2. You can't do that and win. There are too many guys who are costing us defensively."
Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men. 1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.