Istler Coughs Up Walk-Off Single in the Ninth
By Zach Bigley
San Bernardino, CA- The Quakes were handed their fourth straight loss in a walk-off defeat to Inland Empire, 3-2 on Saturday night.
Andrew Istler took over for the Quakes in the ninth inning on the mound and allowed a pair of singles to put runners on the corners with two outs. Michael Barash then singled into left field to bring home Jack Kruger and the 66ers won in walk-off fashion.
Austin Robichaux (5-8) pitched three solid innings in relief and did not allow a base runner while striking out four to earn the win. The Quakes were held without a hit in the final five innings of the game.
The 66ers started the scoring in the first inning off of Caleb Ferguson with an RBI single by Jordan Zimmermann. Jahmai Jones led-off the inning with a single and reached second on a passed ball before coming in to score, so the run was unearned against Ferguson.
In the top of the second inning, the Quakes found the scoreboard. DJ Peters led off the inning with a single and advanced to second when Keibert Ruiz reached on a dropped pop-up by the shortstop Connor Justus for an error. Omar Estevez then doubled off of the bottom of the left field wall to score Peters. Zach McKinstry followed by knocking Ruiz home on an RBI ground out to give the Quakes a 2-1 lead.
Inland Empire tied it up in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Keith Grieshaber that scored Kruger and that ended Ferguson’s night.
Ferguson, who had brilliant for the Quakes, struggled with his command in his start. The left-hander just lasted four and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out seven and tying a career-high with five walks.
Both Jason Richman (one and a third innings) and Nolan Long (two innings) provided scoreless relief for the Quakes down the stretch, but the offense could not back them.
Dodger rehabbers Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier both made rehab starts for the Quakes. Ethier went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter and Gonzalez played all nine innings at first while going 0-for-4 at the plate.
Rancho Cucamonga (29-20, 65-54) will take on Inland Empire (26-23, 56-63) on Sunday, August 13th, at 2:05 PM for the final game of the three-game series. Rancho is expected to turn to right-hander Adam Bray (7-3), while the 66ers will send righty Ryan Clark (1-2) to the mound.
The Quakes will be back home on Monday for the first game of a four-game set with Stockton. Monday’s game will be Social Media Monday. Fans will enjoy viral videos on the video board throughout the night and potentially win great prizes if they follow the Quakes on any social media platform! Tickets are available for Monday’s game and all Quakes’ home games at 909-481-5000 or rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!