Roughly mid-way through the Prospect League schedule, the Quincy Gems find themselves at the top of their division. And its hard to overlook what the Iowa Hawkeye contingent has added to this year's squad.
"They've been fantastic for us and made a huge impact in where we're at right now. Bryan brings a ton of experience, he's been here before so he knows the ropes and has been able to lead the younger guys, and the other 3 have let their play take care of it,"
Having just finished their freshmen year at Iowa, Devin Pickett, Nick Roscetti, and Josh Martsching are feeding off the leadership from Hawkeye senior Bryan Niedbalski.
"I'm going to be a senior and the other three will be sophomores, and I think playing here in Quincy and playing in front of large crowds will really pay off for them in the long run,"
"Bryan is the older guy and has played here before, so he helps us out a lot. Having 4 of us here, we get along really well so it wasn't hard to get things going,"
The Iowa crew has made its biggest contribution on the infield, starting with Josh Martsching. He's been lights out on the mound with a 1.30 ERA, as Quincy has won each of his 5 starts.
"The biggest thing is throwing strikes - my defense has done a great job behind me, so I just need to make pitches and my defense will get me out of it,"
His college teammates have more than backed him up on defense, since they've brought a real comfort level down from Iowa City.
"With Pickett and Roscetti playing on the infield, I can sit there and talk to them because I know their personalities and that should help in the long run,"
"It's huge, just knowing how other people play, and getting more reps in helps us keep it going,"
"Playing together during the summer months and then going back in the fall and spring helps us bring a little bit of leadership to the team,"
It doesn't surprise Chris Martin how well the Iowa group has adjusted. What they've brought to Quincy is helping the Gems click at the right time.
"This isn't the first line of Iowa guys that we've had come in and be successful, so its no surprise. They're comfortable with sending their guys here, their guys tend to come here and get better, and I think they like the final product of when they go back to school in the fall,"