Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for us. Gems catcher Ryan Knernschield played in the prospect league a season ago with the Lafayette Aviators and despite hitting .308 he was not invited back for Summer 2018.
After Knernschield was left looking for a new home, it was only a matter of time before someone picked him up.
After a solid year at Eastern Illinois, Knernschield hit .331 with 18 runs batted in this past season and then he decided to follow suit with a couple of his fellow panther teammates.
Knernschield said, "I had a lot of buddies. Frankie Perrone and Jake Haberer played here last year. And Quincy’s got a good history with fans and all the Eastern boys loved it. I’m glad that I came here with a few buddies. That was a big relief. I at least knew two or three guys on the team."
And since coming on board, Knernschield wasted no time making a big impact. He started the season 8 for 13 and while he’s cooled off a bit since, he is currently third on the team in batting average at .273. Knernschield ‘s effect on the Gems has spanned to both sides of the game as well.
"Hard worker. Hard worker, tough out. Very rarely strikes out.
Even today he’ll be designated hitting for us today (Saturday), he caught last night. But even when he’s not catching it’s hard to keep him out of the line up.
We need his bat in there. Defensively he’s probably one of the best we’ve got. Our other catchers are pretty good too.
So it’s good to give him a day off, but behind the dish he’s one of the best in the league," said head coach Rick Fraire.
The Gems are in a bit of a rough patch right now after starting 4-0 they’ve dropped six of their last seven games, but next up is a home game against Knernschield ‘s old team. The Gems are already 2-0 against Lafayette this season and will look to stay undefeated against the Aviators Tuesday at QU Stadium.