By Mike Lindskog
Lancaster, CA – A late comeback propelled the Quakes to a win in Lancaster, 6-4, on Wednesday night. The win also dropped the Rancho magic number to clinch a playoff spot to two games.
Michael Boyle delivered a strong start for the Quakes to keep them in the game early, but he was handed a no-decision.
The JetHawks struck first in the home-half of the second inning off of Boyle with an RBI single from Garrett Hampson that knocked home Scott Burcham, but the Quakes countered.
Quincy Latimore seemed to be the only Quake that could figure out Lancaster starter Peter Lambert. He smashed a solo home run off of the right-hander in the fourth inning and he collected both hits that Rancho had against Lambert. Lambert allowed just the one run in six innings, but also took home a no-decision.
Boyle surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the JetHawks the lead 3-1. Omar Estevez committed a throwing error with two outs from short that allowed a run to score and a double steal for Lancaster plated another run.
The lefty finished after five innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out two and walking two.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Quakes loaded the bases with one-out. Luke Raley cut the deficit when he lined a two-run single up the middle, scoring Estevez and Ibandel Isabel, to make it 4-3.
Nolan Long (2-0) pitched a clean eighth inning, just allowing a single to Chris Rabago, and the comeback win was completed in the ninth.
In the top of the ninth inning, DJ Peters led-off the frame with a double to right off of former Quake Scott Griggs. After a Keibert Ruiz pop-out, Estevez walked and Ibandel Isabel lined an RBI single to left that scored Peters to tie the game. Wes Rogers’ throw into third from left field over-shot the third baseman Mylz Jones and leapt into the Rancho dugout. Estevez was awarded home plate and Isabel moved to third.
That put the Quakes up 5-4 and Rancho tacked on with an RBI single from Zach McKinstry to make it 6-4 into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Tony Gonsolin nailed down the save in the ninth inning, only allowing a two-out single to Sam Hilliard. It was his fifth save of the season.
Griggs (0-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out one and walking one.
Rancho Cucamonga (38-27, 74-61) will remain in Lancaster for one more game with the JetHawks (37-28, 75-60). Game three will be on Thursday, August 31st, at 6:35 pm. Rancho is expected to turn to right-hander Chris Mathewson (0-0), while the JetHawks will send righty Jesus Tinoco (11-4) to the mound.
The Quakes are back in action at LoanMart Field against Lake Elsinore for the first game-of-four in the final regular-season series, Friday, September 1st, at 7:05 pm. The MVP gates will open at 5:45 and the main gates will open at 6:05. It’s Family RV $1 Family Feast Night at LoanMart Field, featuring $1 hot dogs, $1 Pepsi products and $1 ice cream sandwiches throughout the night! In addition, it’s Back to School Night, as local students and teachers will be in attendance celebrating the start of the school year! Tickets are available for Friday’s game and all Quakes’ home games at 909-481-5000 or rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!