Rancho Cucamonga, CA - The Lancaster JetHawks spoiled a championship celebration and Thursday's home opener in Rancho, holding off a furious Quakes' rally in the ninth for a 9-8 win at LoanMart Field.
Nick Yarnall ripped a grand slam in the last of the ninth to bring Rancho to within a run, but couldn't get any closer, as JetHawks' closer Austin Moore got the final two outs to end the game and give Lancaster their second straight win.
Despite the raising of the 2018 Championship Flag and some early buzz for the fans in attendance, Lancaster dominated the game throughout much of the night, scoring in each of the first three innings against Quakes' starter Bryan Warzek (0-1).
Trailing 4-0 in the fourth, Yarnall, making his first appearance of the year, smacked a double to chase home Carlos Rincon, making it 4-1.
Lancaster jumped on reliever Devin Hemmerich for four in the seventh to make it a seven-run advantage at 8-1.
The Quakes got two back in the seventh and one more in the eighth, but left five men stranded over those two frames.
Leading 8-4 in the ninth, Lancaster's Casey Golden smashed his second round-tripper of the night and fourth of the year, giving Lancaster a 9-4 lead.
Lancaster reliever Hunter Williams struggled to throw strikes in the ninth, as he walked three hitters, then got pulled in favor of Moore. Moore gave up the Yarnall grand slam, but got Brandon Mongomery to pop up and Jeren Kendall to ground out to end the game.
Lancaster starter Garrett Schilling (1-0) was impressive in the win, fanning ten men over six innings, while allowing just one run on four hits.
The Quakes (5-3) will send Gerardo Carrillo (0-0) to the hill on Friday night, as he takes on Lancaster's Lucas Gilbreath (0-0) at 7:05pm.
Friday night will be our first Family RV $1 Family Feast Night, as hot dogs, Pepsi products and ice cream sandwiches will be just one dollar all night long. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field for the Home Opener…Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.