Rancho Cucamonga Rallies in Third Straight Win Over Storm
By Mike Lindskog
Lake Elsinore, CA – An improbable two-run ninth for Rancho Cucamonga was only upstaged by an incredible double-play to end the game, giving the Quakes their third straight come-from-behind victory, a 4-3 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm on Wednesday night at The Diamond.
After Storm center-fielder Edward Olivares put Lake Elsinore up 3-2 with an eighth-inning home run, the Quakes rallied in the ninth, putting a runner on third with no outs, only to see manager Drew Saylor ejected when a call at home plate left Zach McKinstry out and Rancho down to their final out.
Rancho wasn’t done though, scoring in the ninth for a third straight game in Lake Elsinore, as they took the lead when Cristian Santana singled home Rylan Bannon with two outs, knotting the game at 3-3. Logan Landon followed by doubling over the head of left-fielder Nate Easley, chasing home Santana and giving the Quakes a 4-3 lead against closer Dauris Valdez (0-3).
The bottom of the ninth was just as drama-filled, as reliever Zach Pop hit a pair of batters around a single by Olivares, loading the bases for Hudson Potts with only one out. Potts, who was robbed of a hit with two outs in the ninth inning to end Monday’s game, hit a weak dribbler in front of home plate. Catcher Connor Wong picked up the ball and all in one motion, stepped on home plate and fired to first base, getting Potts with a rarely-seen 2-3 double-play. Pop earned his third save of the year and second of the series thanks to the incredible play by Wong.
Rancho trailed early, as starter Dean Kremer gave up a two-run single to Eguy Rosario, putting Lake Elsinore up 2-0 in the second.
The Quakes fought back to tie the game though, getting a run in the fourth on an RBI hit by Hamlet Marte, and then tying the game on an RBI single by Jeren Kendall in the sixth.
Kremer finished the game after a season-high 101 pitches and six innings. He allowed two runs on five hits, fanning nine in the no-decision.
Rancho (33-33) is back to .500 for the first time since late-April and a full game up on Lake Elsinore with four to play in the first half. Their magic number to clinch the first half is at four.
On Thursday, the Quakes aim for a four-game sweep at The Diamond, as Dodgers’ lefty Rich Hill (0-0) will take on Padres’ lefty Joey Lucchesi (0-0) as a pair of big league rehabbers dual in the final game of the set. Game time is 7:00pm.
The Quakes’ next home game at LoanMart Field will be on Thursday, June 21st, with Tropical Smoothie Cafe Thirsty Thursday. Everyone will enjoy drink specials throughout the night, thanks to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com.
Press Release Provided By the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes