Rancho Cucamonga, CA- The Quakes had to cork the celebration for at least one more night because of an 11-6 loss to the 66ers on Saturday night.
Needing a win and a Lancaster victory to clinch a playoff spot in the second half, the Quakes could not hold up their end of the deal. Lancaster beat Lake Elsinore, 2-1, but the Quakes could not keep the ball in the ballpark on Saturday.
In front of a sold-out crowd of 4,724 at LoanMart Field, the 66ers blasted three home runs, including one off of starter Jordan Sheffield.
After Luke Raley gave the Quakes a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single, the 66ers tied the game in the third with an RBI ground out from Brandon Diaz. Sheffield then yielded an RBI double to Jared Walsh before a three-run home run from Jordan Serena and a Derek Jenkins single chased Sheffield from the game.
Sheffield (0-2) took the loss, only throwing three and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs on six hits while striking out four and walking one. Nolan Long replaced him and yielded a run that was charged to Sheffield on an RBI single by Diaz that made it 6-1.
The 66ers extended their lead with two more runs in the sixth inning. The first was on an error by catcher Keibert Ruiz when he overthrew third base trying to catch Keith Grieshaber stealing. Jordan Zimmermann then singled home the inning’s second run to make it 8-1.
The Quakes tried to fight back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Omar Estevez, an RBI ground out by Ibandel Isabel and a solo home run by Ariel Sandoval, but the 66ers answered.
Inland Empire extended its lead to 10-4 with a two-run smash from Kyle Survance Jr in the seventh, but the Quakes matched Inland Empire’s runs with two of their own. After the Quakes loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, Ruiz knocked in a run with an RBI ground out prior to Estevez plating another with a sacrifice fly and it was 10-6.
In the top of the ninth inning, Jared Walsh put an exclamation on the 66ers’ win with a solo home run that made it 11-6. Inland Empire’s starter, Joe Gatto (2-2), earned the win after throwing five and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Rancho Cucamonga (37-25, 73-59) will welcome the Inland Empire 66ers (31-31, 61-71) into LoanMart Field on Sunday, August 27th, for the final game of the three-game series at 2:05 pm. A win would secure a playoff spot for the Quakes. Rancho is expected to turn to right-hander Dustin May (0-0), while the 66ers will send righty Jose Rodriguez (8-12) to the mound.
Sunday’s game will be Kids-Eat-Free Sunrun Sunday! Kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda and a bag of chips. Kids will also run the bases after the game thanks to Smile Generation! Tickets are available for Sunday’s game and all Quakes’ home games at 909-481-5000 or rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!
Press Release Provided By the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes