Tim Crabbe (W, 5-2) got the start for the Blaze, and was solid once again. The Blaze, in an effort to keep Crabbe a little extra rested for the playoffs beginning in five days, only allowed the righthander to go five innings, but they were strong ones. Crabbe allowed just one run over his five frames, surrendering four singles while striking out five.
Crabbe was followed by Kyle McMyne, who posted his best relief appearance in two weeks with two dominant innings. McMyne allowed just a groundball single while striking out three. Andrew Brackman pitched a scoreless 8th, as well.
On the Rancho side, Onelki Garcia, the Cuban defector and recent third round pick, got the start, and looked every bit as advertised, striking out four of the six batters he faced in two innings.
Angel Sanchez (L, 6-12), the originally scheduled starter, picked up for Garcia in the third, and the game began to slip away for the Quakes. The Blaze got a run in the 3rd on a double and two singles, and added two more in the 5th on Steve Selsky's 15th homer of the season, and the Blaze suddenly went up 3-1.
Juan Noriega was called upon by the Quakes to try to get the game back on track, but Noriega had no answer for the Blaze. Juan faced just four batters, allowing three hits and a sacrifice, the Blaze scored twice, and took a 5-1 lead.
Bakersfield was not done, either. Jordan Roberts got the Quakes out of the 6th, but Travis Mattair and Dominic D'Anna each smacked a solo homer off Roberts over the next two innings, and the Blaze took a 7-1 lead into the 9th.
Carlos Contreras was asked to finish the game, but Contreras struggled, as did his defense behind. A solo homer, two errors, a walk, an infield single and a bloop double brought the Quakes to within 7-4 and loaded the bases, putting the tying run aboard and forcing the Blaze to go back to the pen. Mike Dennhardt (S, 1) entered, threw one pitch to Angelo Songco, and got a groundball force play to end the game, and end the regular season with a win.
The Blaze complete the regular scheduled at 72-68, and now turn their attention to the playoffs, which begin Saturday, September 8th right here at Sam Lynn Ballpark. The Blaze will be hosting the winner of the Modesto-San Jose mini-series, which will occur from September 5-7. The September 8th and 9th playoff games at Sam Lynn Ballpark will also feature a postgame fireworks show on Saturday and a cooling towel giveaway on Sunday afternoon.
Make sure to head to those games, and get your tickets soon, as seats are going fast!
Can't make it? Listen LIVE to ALL Blaze playoff games online at BakersfieldBlaze.com, as Dan Besbris brings the call for each. Saturday's broadcast will begin ten minutes prior to first pitch.