Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Darnell Sweeney's double over the head of center fielder Brennan Gowens sent Noel Cuevas home with the winning run, as Rancho rallied to take down Inland Empire in ten innings, 4-3 at LoanMart Field on Wednesday night.
Cuevas opened the tenth inning with a single off of reliever Brandon Efferson, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Schebler. Sweeney followed with a drive that landed near the warning track in center field, as the Quakes won for just the third time this year, when trailing after eight innings.
Down by a run in the ninth, Bobby Coyle smashed an Efferson (1-5) offering way over the right field fence, his eighth of the year, tying the game at 3-3 and sending it to extras for a second straight night.
Blake Smith (1-0) notched his first professional win, as he struck out two of three hitters in a perfect tenth.
The Quakes got an outstanding performance from starter Carlos Frias, who retired the first 11 batters he faced, but settled for a no-decision. Frias allowed two runs on three hits over five-plus innings.
Inland Empire squandered a solid effort by Mark Sappington, who allowed just two runs on three hits over seven innings.
Chris Jacobs homered for Rancho for a second straight game, as his fifth of the year tied the game in the seventh inning.
The Quakes (16-18, 47-57) can win their sixth straight series with a victory on Thursday night in the series-finale. Gustavo Gomez (3-5) will take on former Quake Orangel Arenas (6-3) in the rubber game from LoanMart Field on Thursday evening at 7:05pm.
Thursday is another Thirsty Thursday, as fans can enjoy $2 domestic 16-oz drafts and $2 24-oz Pepsi products throughout the night. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you very soon at LoanMart Field. Go Quakes!