Rancho Cucamonga, CA -
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes completed a two-game sweep of the High Desert Mavericks on Thursday night, advancing to the second round of the California League Playoffs with a 7-1 win at The Epicenter.
One night after hitting five homers in the series-opener in High Desert, the Quakes slugged three more home runs and enjoyed great pitching to win the best-of-three series, two games to none.
Luis Jimenez, Gabe Jacobo and Dillon Baird all went deep, with Baird swatting his second in as many games.
The Quakes struck first, against High Desert starter Jon Hesketh in the third. Darwin Perez reached on an error to open the inning and eventually scored on an RBI single from Alberto Rosario. Jimenez followed with his first post-season hit, a two-run homer to left-center to make it a 3-0 game.
The Mavericks finally got to Quakes' starter Orangel Arenas in the fifth, but missed out on a huge opportunity. Denny Almonte opened the inning with a double and eventually scored on a Shaver Hansen RBI groundout, as the Mavs made it 3-1. With two outs, Arenas surrendered a double to Kyle Seager, walked Edilio Colina, then hit Johermyn Chavez with a pitch to load the bases for clean-up hitter Rich Poythress. Arenas induced Poythress into a groundout though, as the Mavs left the bases loaded.
Jacobo opened the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot, putting the Quakes back up by three at 4-1. Kevin Ramos tripled home Eric Oliver to chase Hesketh (0-1) after 5 2/3 innings, making it a 5-1 game.
Baird capped the scoring and put it out of reach with a two-run shot in the eighth, giving the Quakes a 7-1 lead.
Arenas (1-0) gave the Quakes five good innings, before turning it over to the bullpen, which did an incredible job for a second straight game.
Jose Perez worked two scoreless innings, before turning it over to Matt Meyer and Eddie McKiernan, who each threw a scoreless frame to end it.
The Quakes will take Friday off, then resume play on Saturday, opening up the best-of-five against the Lake Elsinore Storm, at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.
Garrett Richards (4-1) is scheduled to make his first post-season start against the Storm, while Lake Elsinore will go with big-leaguer Chris Young, down from the San Diego Padres on a rehab assignment. Game time is 7:05pm on Saturday night.
The Quakes are assured of at least one more playoff game at The Epicenter, as they'll host the Storm on Monday night, in game three in the best-of-five. Monday night will be $1 Hot Dog Night, as fans can enjoy Hot Dogs for just one dollar throughout the night. Game time on Monday from The Epicenter will be 7:05pm. If game four is necessary, the Quakes will host the Lake Elsinore Storm again on Tuesday at 7:05pm. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com.
We hope to see you for the second round of the Cal League Playoffs...Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.