Josiah Gray Dominates as Quakes Win in Ten on Jeter Downs’ Heroics
By Toph Buzzard
Jeter Downs played hero on Friday night for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (40-26) with a phenomenal defensive web gem and a walk-off sacrifice fly in the tenth inning, as they defeated the Lake Elsinore Storm (34-32) by a final score of 3-2 in extra innings.
Pitching stole the show in game three of the current five-game set, as both MacKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray put together stellar starts in their own right. Gore only lasted four innings because of a pitch count, but did not allow a hit and surrendered just one earned run. The Storm southpaw walked three and recorded six punchouts.
As for Gray, he shined in seven innings of work, scattering four hits on the night, with six strikeouts and no free-passes. The Quakes’ right-hander began the night with a 3.58 ERA, but ended the evening with a 3.12 ERA.
Offensively, Lake Elsinore got on the board in the second inning with a Eguy Rosario RBI single, plating Connor Panas. Rancho knotted the game up in the fourth inning without a the aid of a hit, when Jeren Kendall brought home Downs on a sacrifice fly. The Quakes’ first hit would not come until Brayan Morales’ one-out single in the eighth.
The score would stay at 1-1 until the 10th, when Olivier Basabe touched home on a Max Gamboa wild pitch, making it 2-1 in favor of the Storm.
However, Downs cued his heroics to end the top of the 10th and finish the home half. With two runners in scoring position for Lake Elsinore, Downs made a two-out diving catch at the shortstop spot to save two runs. Then, to end the contest, Downs plated Deacon Liput via a sac fly, to give Rancho their second walk-off win of the season.
On Saturday, Rancho will send RHP Andre Jackson (0-1) to the bump, as Lake Elsinore will counter with RHP Reiss Knehr (0-0). Purchase tickets online at rcquakes.com or by calling (909) 481-5000, as it is the final first-half edition of postgame fireworks, presented by Foddrill Construction.
Also, it is Foddrill Construction First Responders and Heroes Night with a jersey auction following the contest.
Storm 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Quakes 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 3
W: Gamboa, Max (4-1, 2.81) L: Headean, Will (0-1, 4.91)
Press Release Provided By the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Quake Photo by Steve Saenz