Rancho Cucamonga, CA - The Quakes nearly completed a five-run comeback in the ninth inning on Thursday night, but Jeremy Rathjen's fly ball to centerfield was feet short of tying the game. Rathjen hit a pair of home runs in the contest, but Rancho fell 10-8 to High Desert at LoanMart Field.
Down 10-5 with one on and two outs in the ninth inning, Alex Guerrero smashed a ball to left-center field. It looked like High Desert's Travis Witherspoon made a fantastic catch to end the game, but it was ruled to be an RBI triple and the game continued. Chris Jacobs and Aaron Miller followed with consecutive RBI doubles to bring the tying run to the plate. Jeremy Rathjen, who already had two home runs in the game, sent one deep to centerfield but this time it fell into the glove of Witherspoon to end the game.
Rancho Cucamonga (20-13, 52-51) was behind the entire game. The Quakes gave up a season-high five home runs to High Desert (15-18, 49-54), and could not come back.
The Mavericks struck for three runs on five hits against Gustavo Gomez (1-2, 4.50) in the first inning. Jabari Henry and Gabriel Guerrero hit back-to-back home runs, and the Mavs also got an RBI single from Tyler Marlette in the frame.
High Desert also hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning. High Desert's Jabari Henry, Gabriel Guerrero, Jordy Lara and Tyler Marlette combined to go 11-for-19 with five home runs and 10 RBIs.
Trailing 4-0, the Quakes finally got on the board in the fourth inning. Jeremy Rathjen hit a solo shot to left field off of Brett Shankin (4-4, 5.05). Rathjen added a two-run homer in the eighth inning. Since returning to the roster, the Rancho outfielder is 29-for-77 with six homers and 16 runs batted in over 20 games.
The Quakes got within one run in the fifth inning after a pair of RBI groundouts, but Rancho got no closer on Thursday night. Even with the loss, they remain atop the South Division thanks to Lake Elsinore's defeat to Bakersfield.
Rancho will try to rebound in the second of the four-game series on Friday night. The Quakes send southpaw Tom Windle (9-6, 4.61) to the mound against High Desert righty Lars Huijer (0-2, 7.71). First pitch is at 7:05 pm and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports AM 1350 starting with the LoanMart Pregame Report at 6:50 pm.
The first 1,500 fans through the gates at Friday's game will receive a Zack Greinke Quakes Bobblehead thanks to WaBa Grill Teriyaki House! Tickets are still available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field this weekend! Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.