Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Darnell Sweeney's double over the head of center fielder Brennan Gowens sent Noel Cuevas home with the winning run, as Rancho rallied to take down Inland Empire in ten innings, 4-3 at LoanMart Field on Wednesday night.
Cuevas opened the tenth inning with a single off of reliever Brandon Efferson, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Schebler. Sweeney followed with a drive that landed near the warning track in center field, as the Quakes won for just the third time this year, when trailing after eight innings.
Down by a run in the ninth, Bobby Coyle smashed an Efferson (1-5) offering way over the right field fence, his eighth of the year, tying the game at 3-3 and sending it to extras for a second straight night.
Blake Smith (1-0) notched his first professional win, as he struck out two of three hitters in a perfect tenth.
The Quakes got an outstanding performance from starter Carlos Frias, who retired the first 11 batters he faced, but settled for a no-decision. Frias allowed two runs on three hits over five-plus innings.
Inland Empire squandered a solid effort by Mark Sappington, who allowed just two runs on three hits over seven innings.
Chris Jacobs homered for Rancho for a second straight game, as his fifth of the year tied the game in the seventh inning.
The Quakes (16-18, 47-57) can win their sixth straight series with a victory on Thursday night in the series-finale. Gustavo Gomez (3-5) will take on former Quake Orangel Arenas (6-3) in the rubber game from LoanMart Field on Thursday evening at 7:05pm.
Thursday is another Thirsty Thursday, as fans can enjoy $2 domestic 16-oz drafts and $2 24-oz Pepsi products throughout the night. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you very soon at LoanMart Field. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.