Quakes' Songco hits for the cycle

Dodgers prospect caps feat with triple in 11-run ninth inning

Angelo Songco is the fifth player to hit for the cycle in 2011. (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com | May 25, 2011 10:52 PM

Playing less than an hour from his hometown of Granada Hills, Calif., Rancho Cucamonga's Angelo Songco invited family and friends to watch him Wednesday night in Lancaster. Little did they know they'd get to witness a little piece of baseball history.

The Dodgers prospect hit for the cycle as part of a five-hit night and powered the Class A Advanced Quakes to a 25-9 romp over the JetHawks.

"It felt great, I was going crazy inside," Songco said. "I could hear my family and my fiancee, Charnae, and my teammates going crazy. It's the second cycle of my life, but the first in the pros. I've never experienced anything quite like this."

Songco's other cycle came as a 15-year-old playing travel ball for the Granada Hills Invaders. Seven years ago, he needed only a single in his final at-bat. Wednesday's task was not as straightforward.

Songco stroked his 16th double of the season in the first inning and singled in the fourth. He plated a run with another base hit in the fifth and slugged his sixth homer in the seventh.

"I had a pretty good at-bat. He started me off with a breaking ball and then he threw me a high fastball," Songco said, referring to Lancaster reliever David Berner. "He threw me a good fastball inside on 2-0, but I was able to get a good piece of wood on it."

After flying out to end the eighth inning, it did not appear the Dodgers' fourth-round pick in the 2009 Draft would get another shot at the cycle. But the Quakes sent 14 men to the plate in an 11-run ninth.

"I was aware I needed [a triple] because some of the guys told me, but I wasn't trying to put too much pressure on myself," the Loyola Marymount product said. "After I flew out, I didn't think about it again. I was cheering for my teammates because I always want them to do well."

While Blake Smith, Gorman Erickson and Tony Delmonico homered in the ninth, it was Songco's drive that stayed in the yard that elicited the loudest cheers. He delivered a two-out two-run triple -- his first of the season -- to center field.

"I thought off the bat that the ball was going to go out, but once it bounced I knew I had to get on my horse and start running," Songco said. "I was able to motor into third, so I guess I can say the baseball gods gave me this cycle.

"It was a great feeling to see my fiancee and family up there going crazy. I always try to do great things for them."

It completed the Quakes' first cycle since Nate Sutton accomplished the feat on Sept. 4, 2006. It's also the fourth cycle in just under a year at Lancaster's Clear Channel Stadium. Stockton's Kent Walton had one on April 21, while JetHawks teammates cycled in back-to-back games last June 8-9.

Songco finished 5-for-7 with four RBIs and three runs scored to raise his average 15 points to .324. The hits were a career high, whlie the RBIs matched a personal best for the 22-year-old outfielder. "I felt like something good was going to happen after my second at-bat, when I hit the ball down the line," Songco said. "I had that feeling that it was going to be a good night, I just wasn't really prepared for a night like this. Hitting really is contagious."

A year ago, Songco hit .274 with 15 homers and 71 RBIs in 135 games at Class A Great Lakes, earning Midwest League midseason All-Star honors.

Rafael Ynoa had just one of Rancho Cucamonga's 19 hits but drove in five runs, while Smith, Erickson and Austin Gallagher joined Songco by scoring four times apiece. Noel Cuevas went 3-for-5 out of the ninth spot in the lineup and fell a homer shy of duplicating Songco's feat.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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