Rancho Cucamonga, CA- Early on during Friday night's game, there was not a shadow of a doubt that the Quakes would clinch a post-season berth. Rancho romped over the Lake Elsinore Storm, 11-2, to earn a spot in the playoffs in the second half.
The Quakes started with early offense and did not look back.
After the Storm took an early lead with an RBI groundout off of Rancho starter Caleb Ferguson, DJ Peters gave the Quakes a 2-1 lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first against Logan Allen. It was his 26th home run of the season and his first against Lake Elsinore pitching this year.
Lake Elsinore tied the game in the top of the second inning on an RBI single from Carlos Belen, but Rancho came storming back in the bottom of the frame.
Following a lead-off walk by Ibandel Isabel and a single from Brant Whiting, Brandon Montgomery laced a two-run triple to give the Quakes a 4-2 lead. Luke Raley ripped an RBI triple of his own and was then knocked home by Quincy Latimore with an RBI single.
Peters followed with a walk to put runners on first and second base for Omar Estevez, who singled home Latimore before Isabel slammed a two-run double into the alley in left-center to cap the seven-run inning and give the Quakes a 9-2 lead.
In the third, a Raley RBI double added to the lead and it was all Ferguson would need on the mound.
Ferguson (9-4) threw five strong innings in his start, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking just one.
The Quakes tacked on in the bottom of the seventh when Raley plated his third run on the game with a bases-loaded walk to make it 11-2.
Even though the Storm scored in the ninth on a wild pitch that brought home Ruddy Giron, the Quakes were able to close out the win and celebrate on their home field.
Allen (2-5) took the loss. The Storm starter just lasted one and two-thirds innings, allowing eight runs on five hits while striking out three and walking three.
Rancho Cucamonga (39-28, 75-62) will take on Lake Elsinore (27-40, 62-75) on Saturday, September 2nd, at 7:05 pm for the second game of the four-game series. Rancho is expected to turn to left-hander Devin Smeltzer (5-4), while the Storm will send righty Emmanuel Ramirez (2-2) to the mound.
Saturday's game will be our final Fireworks Extravaganza of the regular season, as everyone will enjoy the show, thanks to Smile Generation! In addition, Quakes players will also be wearing special teal pinstriped 25th Season jerseys, which will be auctioned off on this night, with the proceeds benefiting the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital's Vision 2020 Campaign. Tickets are available for Saturday's game and all Quakes' home games at 909-481-5000 or rcquakes.com.
Playoff tickets and Playoff Ticket Packages are now available at 909-481-5000 or rcquakes.com as well. The Quakes' playoff run is sponsored by WaBa Grill. Go Quakes!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.