San Bernardino, CA -The Inland Empire 66ers (65-63, 28-30) are one step closer to a trip back to the California League playoffs after defeating the Bakersfield Blaze (51-77, 22-37) 5-3 Wednesday at San Manuel Stadium. Drew Rucinski acquired his third quality start for the 66ers that contributed to the second come from behind victory against Bakersfield.
In contrast to Tuesday night's game, Bakersfield Blaze took the early advantage by scoring two runs in the top of the first inning, but the 66ers did not wait long to tally their first run, thanks to a missed catch error by Bakersfield's starting pitcher Shuan Ellis allowing Eric Stamets to cross home plate.
The errors carried into the 5th inning for the away team following a pitching change for Bakersfield. Anthony Bemboom advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by second baseman Juan Silverio and tied the game off of a sacrifice bunt hit by Stamets. Alex Yarbrough kept the hits coming on a line drive to left field that allowed Gowens to score, putting the 66ers in the lead 3-2.
Ty Kelley took over the mound after seven impressive innings from the 66ers starting pitcher Drew Rucinski. Kelley did not disappoint after following with a scoreless inning. With bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th, the 66ers expanded their lead off a two RBI single hit by Gowens that sent Hernandez and Mitchell across the plate.
Wednesday's 66ers milestones met included Alex Yarbrough moving into sole possession of 3rd place for hits in a season with his 170th and 171st of the year. Brian Hernandez played in the 200th game of his 66ers career and he took over sole possession of 10th place in 66ers history for career hits with his 214th.
Join us Thursday at San Manuel Stadium for the Thirsty Thursday Summer Concert Series and Teacher Appreciation Night and as the 66ers attempt to sweep Bakersfield during their final home stand. For information on 66ers tickets or to schedule your next fun filled group outing, contact the 66ers front office at (909)888-9922.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.