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 Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.