Inland Empire, CA - Comeback victories have been quite trendy this past week and the Quakes did it again on Saturday night, only this time, the win gave them the First Half South Division Title!
Rancho won its first, first-half crown since 2015, thanks to Saturday's come-from-behind 10-4 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers at San Manuel Stadium. The trip to September's 2018 Cal League Playoffs wasn't quite sewn up with the win though, as about 15 minutes after the completion of Rancho's, Lancaster's 15-5 win over Lake Elsinore went final, making the Quakes fourth straight trip to the postseason, official.
Steve Berman was one of three Quakes to go deep, finishing the game with a career-best five RBIs, as Rancho won for the sixth time in their last seven games, joining the Stockton Ports as 2018 half-champs.
Jeren Kendall set a nice tone on Saturday night, as he opened the game with a solo-shot, his sixth of the year.
Quakes' starter Parker Curry allowed a long-ball in the bottom of the inning though, as Brandon Marsh's first of the year made it 1-1.
The Quakes got two in the third, only to see the 66ers answer back with three of their own in the bottom of the inning, taking a 4-3 lead and chasing Curry.
A Berman double in the fourth put Rancho ahead to stay at 5-4 against Inland Empire starter Simon Mathews (0-1).
Rancho stock-piled five more runs in the sixth, taking a commanding 10-4 lead.
Cristian Santana opened the inning with his tenth homer of the year and Berman followed a few batters later with a three-run jack, making it 9-4 with his third of the season. Jeren Kendall followed Berman's blast with a double, but scored on the play due to an error, as he iced the cake and capped the scoring.
Rancho pitching was top-notch from there on out, as Jason Richman (2-5), Ryan Moseley and Nolan Long finished it off by combining for scoreless baseball.
The Quakes (35-34) look to sweep the series on Sunday at 2:05pm, sending Tony Gonsolin to the mound against Erik Manoah (1-6).
Thanks to Saturday's win and First Half South Division Title, an update on the future sale of Quakes' Playoff Tickets will be coming later this week!
The Quakes' next home game at LoanMart Field will be on Thursday, June 21st, with Tropical Smoothie Cafe Thirsty Thursday. Everyone will enjoy drink specials throughout the night, thanks to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.