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 Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.