Quakes home Friday and Saturday with Chance to Advance
By Mike Lindskog
Lancaster, CA – The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes evened up their best-of-five series with Lancaster on Thursday night, blowing out the JetHawks at the Hangar in Lancaster, winning by a score of 17-8.
Keibert Ruiz had became the first Quake to record a five-hit game and Rancho smacked a new season-high of six round-trippers, sending the series back to LoanMart Field for games three and four, where the Quakes will have a chance to close the series.
Rancho banged out a total of 20 hits, with ten different Quakes getting in the hit-column.
The Quakes held the lead throughout, as DJ Peters, who finished the lead with three hits and four RBIs, put the Quakes on the board with a ground-rule double, making it 1-0 in the first. Omar Estevez capped the three-run first, ripping a two-run single down the left-field line to make it 3-0 against JetHawks’ starter Jesus Tinoco (0-1).
The JetHawks, who posted eight runs and 15 hits on the night, put pressure on Quakes’ starter Devin Smeltzer in the early-going, as Brendan Rodgers homered two batters into the game, making it 3-1.
Zach McKinstry answered with a solo-shot in the second, giving the Quakes a 4-1 lead.
The JetHawks got single runs in both the second and the fourth, pulling to within a run at 4-3.
Both teams tallied three runs in the fifth. Quincy Latimore homered for Rancho in the fifth, while Zach Reks and Estevez both had run-scoring hits.
Leading 7-6 in the sixth, the Quakes started to pull away, using a five-run inning to take a 12-6 lead. Brandon Montgomery led off with his first of two home runs, then saw Peters cap the inning with a three-run jack.
The Quakes completely blew it open in the ninth, scoring five more runs. Montgomery opened the ninth-inning scoring with his second solo-shot, making it 13-7. Ariel Sandoval, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, connected for a grand slam, putting it out of reach at 17-7.
The JetHawks rounded out the scoring against reliever Sven Schueller, getting a two-out run with an RBI single by Chris Rabago.
Quakes’ reliever Jason Richman (1-0) was awarded the win, after firing two scoreless innings, while retiring all six hitters he faced.
With the series now tied at a game apiece, the Quakes and JetHawks will face off on consecutive nights at LoanMart Field. On Friday night, Brandon McCarthy of the Los Angeles Dodgers is scheduled to get the ball for the Quakes, as he’ll appear in his third rehab start and his first of the playoffs. For the JetHawks, Brandon Gold will make the start, with game time scheduled for 7:05pm.
Friday night will be WaBa Grill Thirsty Friday, with “Thirsty Thursday” drink specials throughout the night, including $2 Pepsi products, 16-oz domestic drafts for $3 and 16-oz premium drafts, wine, champagne and margaritas for $4. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com.