San Bernardino, CA - Less than 48 hours after closing out the Inland Empire 66ers (2-0) 15 inning division series clinching win at Lancaster on Wednesday, Danny Reynolds took the mound against San Jose in game two of the league championships and gave his team seven innings of quality work on their way to a 9-1 win over the San Jose Giants (0-2). Inland Empire now sits one win away from a sixth California League championship title.
Optimism was high for the 66ers leading into the final home game of the 2013 season. Despite facing a 12 game winner during game one of the finals Inland Empire had scored a 4-1 victory and they were hoping to do the same against Giants top prospect Kyle Crick. Early on Crick was able to put zeroes on the scoreboard, but Reynolds matched him out for out until the 4th. That inning the Giants scored a run on a hit batter who advanced to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground ball, and scored on a sac fly for a 1-0 lead.
Inland Empire quickly answered back with an RBI single from Brian Hernandez in the bottom of the 4th. Then after a walk to Abel Baker loaded the bases, Gary Mitchell drew another walk to bring in the go ahead run. Inland Empire never looked back. In the 6th Andy Workman hit a two run homer to make it 4-1, and Reynolds kept dealing to the Giants retiring the last 10 San Jose batters he faced, the last two by strikeout.
Another five run eruption was added in the 7th when the 66ers got hits from Alex Yarbrough, Michael Snyder, Hernandez , Baker and Workman in addition to a walk for Eric Stamets. The RBI's went to Borenstein, Hernandez, Workman and a pair for Baker, and the 66ers lead was 9-1.
Inland Empire now has three chances to win one game for their first California League championship since 2006. Their first opportunity is Saturday night at San Jose when they put Drew Rucinski on the mound looking for his third win of the postseason. The game can be heard on the 66ers flagship station AM 1050 KCAA beginning with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Show at 6:55. For more information on Inland Empire 66ers baseball go to 66ers.com.