Rancho Cucamonga, CA - The Quakes recorded 11 hits and got a career-high nine strikeouts from Tom Windle in a 5-2 win over the Inland Empire 66ers on Wednesday night. The win was Rancho's second in their last three games and they head into their home regular season finale with some momentum.
Tom Windle (12-8, 4.24) turned in one of his finest outings of the year to earn the win, striking out nine in six innings without walking a batter. The 66ers hit a pair of solo homers against him, but Windle gave up nothing else.
Rancho Cucamonga (31-34, 63-72) trailed 1-0 at the end of one after Sherman Johnson took Windle deep in the first. The Quakes had runners on second and third with none out for Chris Jacobs, who smashed a three-run shot to right-center off of Ray Hanson (4-5, 4.00) to give the Quakes a 3-1 edge. The homer was Jacobs' team-leading 25th of the year and he now has 96 RBIs.
Inland Empire (32-33, 57-78) drew within a run in the sixth inning when Dennis Raben launched his 29th homer of the year to right field off of Windle. The lefty struck out the side in his final inning of work to finish his night with a career-high nine. His previous high in an outing was seven.
The Quakes answered right back in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Jacobs led off the inning with a double off of Hanson. Tyler Ogle drove him in with a two-bagger down the left-field line that made it 4-2 Rancho. Two batters later, James Baldwin hit Rancho's third double of the inning to bring Ogle home and give the Quakes a 5-2 lead.
Rancho's bullpen was solid behind Windle, with Luis Meza, Rob Rogers and Craig Stem all tossing scoreless innings. Criag Stem allowed two men to reach in the ninth, but induced a game-ending double play from Mark Shannon to earn his second save of the year.
One night after going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, Rancho was 3-for-9 on Wednesday to earn the win. Rancho's 11 hits was the most for the team in a home game since August 1. Four Quakes had multiple hits in the contest.
With the victory, Rancho is two games back of Lancaster in the South Division with five games to play. The Quakes are still one game behind High Desert in the Wild Card standings.
Rancho goes for the series victory in their home finale on Thursday night at LoanMart Field. Chris Anderson (7-7, 4.51), who has 21 strikeouts in his last 14 innings, starts for Rancho against righty Clint Sharp (3-3, 7.63) for the Sixers. First pitch is at 7:05 pm and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports AM 1350 starting with the LoanMart Pregame Report at 6:50 pm.
Thursday night is the regular season home finale for Rancho at LoanMart Field! After the game, fans will enjoy a Fireworks Spectuacular thanks to Metro Nissan of Montclair! Thirsty Thursday drink specials will be in effect as well! 24-oz. Pepsi products and 16-oz. domestic drafts are just $2, while 16-oz. domestic drafts, wine, champagne and margaritas are just $3! Tickets are still available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at the Home Finale! Go Quakes!