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 Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.