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Ahmed leads Quakes with three solo shots

Dodgers infielder finishes off hat trick with go-ahead homer in 10th
August 7, 2016

Mike Ahmed smashed Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga's losing streak in historic fashion.

The Dodgers infield prospect blasted three solo homers Sunday night as the Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes bested the High Desert Mavericks in 10 innings, 10-9, at Heritage Field.

Ahmed lofted the first two long balls in his first two at-bats of the game, over the left-field wall in the first inning and again to lead off the third. Both came at the expense of High Desert starter Tyler Davis.

"It didn't change my approach my following at-bats. If anything it solidified what I've been trying to work on," the 24-year-old said. "Simplify what I'm trying to do and hit something as hard as I can up the middle."

Ahmed was quieted by Davis and the High Desert bullpen over the next six innings. He reached first on a fielding error by third baseman Josh Morgan in the sixth, but otherwise didn't reach base.

But when the Massachusetts native came up for his seventh plate appearance of the game against Mavericks reliever Shane McCain (3-3), he deposited the southpaw's fastball over the wall in left once again to complete the hat trick.

"I was just trying to be aggressive on anything in the zone," Ahmed said. "Looking either fastball or slider, but making sure not to be late on the fastball. The last one I hit the best, so I figured it would be [gone]."

When he returned to the dugout after rounding the bases, the 2013 30th-round pick said he was greeted by an excited group of teammates and coaches. The Quakes had dropped the first three games of their series with the Mavericks and had lost 10 straight overall against them. His historic homer provided the edge they needed to snap the streak.

"It was a great reaction from my teammates. We battled all series and it was nice to get that edge in the 10th," Ahmed said. "It was a team effort all day today for sure."

The Holy Cross product posted Rancho Cucamonga's second three-homer game of the year, joining former teammate Kyle Garlick, who recorded the feat April 18. He said despite turning in a career night, the victory was first and foremost in his mind.

"Obviously, it's a fun night to be a part of, and that's the first time I've done that in my career, but I'm glad we were able to win," Ahmed said. "It's definitely a cool experience, something I'll remember for a while."

Erick Mejia added four hits for the Quakes, while Yusniel Diaz and Ariel Sandoval both went yard.

Corey Copping (1-0) recorded his first California League win after walking two and fanning one over 1 1/3 scoreless frames of relief.

Dylan Moore belted two homers and drove in five on a four-hit night for High Desert.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.