Inland Empire broke a 6-6 tie in the last of the 13th inning when the mother of all wild pitches bounced completely over the backstop behind home plate, allowing Bridger Hunt to trot home from third base with the winning run.
The 7-6 victory gave Rancho Cucamonga the rest of the winter off and the 66ers will host the Lake Elsinore Storm in the first game of a best of three series with the winner advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
Relief pitcher Matt Sartor and shortstop Christian Lara shared top billing in the win. Sartor came into the game in the 10th inning and held the Quakes scoreless, earning his fourth win of the season against three losses. Lara rapped out five hits, scoring twice and knocking in two runs. He missed a cycle by a home run.
Starter Alberto Bastardo worked into the sixth inning and turned the game over to the bullpen with a 3-2 lead. He allowed only six hits and a pair of runs, striking out six.
The 66ers jumped all over Quakes starter Jordan Walden who had held them to two hits the last time the two teams met.
Drew Locke doubled to score Tommy Giles, who had walked, in the first inning and then scored himself on a single by Austin Gallagher, just activated from the disabled list.
After the Quakes scored single runs on a triples in the second and fourth innings to tie the game, they loaded the bases in the fifth but Bastardo escaped with a double play.
Bastardo left the game after putting two runners on base in the sixth. Javy Guerra took over and retired the side without any damage.
Inland Empire had cracked the tie in the last of the sixth when Christian Lara and Giles smacked back-to-back doubles, knocking Walden out of the game.
It looked as if they had put the game away in the seventh, scoring three runs to take a 7-2 lead. Scott Van Slyke singled with one out and Esteban Lopez walked. With two out, Lara tripled to drive in two runs and then scored himself a Giles single that gave Tommy 100 RBI on the season.
Guerra surrendered a walk and a single in the top of the eighth and was replaced by Jordan Pratt who got two quick outs when the first batter lined to Locke at first base and he doubled the runner off first. Then Pratt wild-pitched a run home before retiring the side.
Pratt opened the ninth by walking the first two batters and Paul Koss took over. However the Quakes tagged him a single that drove in a run and a pair of walks that loaded the bases. A walk and a single tied the score but Koss fanned the final two batters to leave runners at second and third.
The inning-ending strikeout enraged Rancho Cucamonga and both the batter and manager Ever Magallanes were ejected.
Inland Empire had a shot at ending it in the bottom of the ninth when Hunt walked and Lara lined a single. Hunt was nailed at the plate by the throw from right field to send the game into extra innings.
Sartor took over in the 10th and allowed a pair of hits. He allowed two more in the 11th, a walk in the 12th and a single in the 13th but held the Quakes scoreless.
Inland Empire left Gallagher, who had singled, at second in the 10th; Lopez and Giles, who had both singled, at second and third in the 11th and Matt Berezay, who had walked, at second in the 12th.
They finally broke through in the 13th when Hunt walked and Lara added his fifth hit of the game. Giles was walked intentionally to load the bases and Hunt scored on the wild pitch to win it.
Lara's five hits led the 66er attack. Giles, Locke and Gallagher added two each.
Score by Innings Rancho Cucamonga 010 100 013 000 0-6 Inland Empire 200 001 300 000 1-7 Inland Empire ab r h bi ave Hunt 3b 4 1 0 0 .292 Lara 2b 7 2 5 2 .256 Giles rf 3 1 2 2 .280 Locke 1b 6 1 2 1 .311 Gallagher dh 4 0 2 1 .293 Robinson pr-dh 1 0 0 o .276 Berezay lf 4 0 0 0 .249 Pedroza ss 5 0 0 0 .290 Van Slyke cf 6 1 1 0 .261 Lopez c 4 1 1 0 .241 Fuller pr 0 0 0 0 .240 Garabedian c 1 0 0 0 .095 Totals 45 7 13 6 Rancho 49 6 15 5 Error- Lara (19). 2B- Locke 2 (37), Lara (17), Giles (30). 3B- Lara (8). RBI- Locke (85), Gallagher (55), Giles 2 (100), Lara 2 (43). S- Berezay; Hunt; Pedroza. LOB- Inland Empire 14, Rancho 14. DP- Pedroza, Lara and Locke; Locke unassisted; Garabedian and Lara. Inland Empire in h r-er bb so era Bastardo 5.2 6 2-2 1 6 5.19 Guerra 1.1 1 1-1 2 2 4.07 Pratt 1.0 1 2-2 2 0 4.83 Koss 1.0 2 1-1 2 2 3.50 Sartor (4-3) 4.0 5 0-0 0 6 2.15 WP- Pratt. T- 4:48. Att- 1,246.Raptors Earn Playoff Spot With Win
After allowing 11 walks in a blowout, 13-4 home loss to the Owlz, the Raptors posted a 5-3 win at Utah Valley's Brown Ballpark. The win earned them a place in the Pioneer League South Division Playoffs.
Ogden will host Orem Saturday at Lindquist Field, followed by games at Orem Sunday and Monday, if necessary, in the best-of-3 series.
Raptor pitchers issued only a single walk in the game and miraculously scattered 14 hits, leaving 11 of them on base.
Michael Watt (9-4) went six innings in picking up the win, allowing 11 hits, tying teammate Jon Dutton for the league-lead in wins.
Daigoro Rondon, Cole St. Clair and Luis Garcia held the Owlz scoreless the rest of the way, with Garcia picking up his ninth save of the season.
Tony Delmonico broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a gigantic two-run homer. It was Delmonico's 11th of the season.
The Raptors scored in the top of the first when Dee Gordon doubled and scored on Kyle Russell's single. Orem tied the game in the bottom of the inning and took a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Gordon singled again in the sixth to lead the inning off and stole second. Russell walked and with two out, Gordon swiped third and Russell took second base, then both he and Russell scored on an error.
The Owlz tied the game in the top of the sixth before Delmonico put Ogden on top to stay.
Gordon had three hits and scored three times, as Gordon, Demonico and Russell, the 1-2-3 batters, scored all of the Raptors' runs.
Designated hitter Travis Vetters was 0-for-4 and saw his 23-game on-base streak end and his average slip to a "mere" .411. ...The last time Ogden was in the P.L. playoffs was in 2005. ...Ogden and Orem meet again tonight, Thursday and Friday to close out the regular season. In all, the two teams could play each other eight straight days.
Score by Innings Ogden 100 002 200-5 Orem 100 011 000-3 Ogden ab r h bi ave Gordon ss 4 3 3 0 .333 Delmonico 2b 5 1 2 2 .336 Russell rf 3 1 1 1 .286 Vetters dh 4 0 0 0 .411 Mier c 4 0 0 0 .260 Caseres 1b 4 0 1 0 .273 Baez 3b 4 0 0 0 .270 Buss cf 4 0 1 0 .285 Ruggiano lf 4 0 0 0 .236 Totals 36 5 8 3 Orem 40 3 14 2 Error- Russell (1). 2B- Gordon (13), Delmonico (19). HR- Delmonico (11), RBI- Russell (46), Delmonico 2 (39). LOB- Ogden 6, Orem 11. SB- Russell (4), Gordon 2 (16), Ruggiano (9), DP- Gordon, Delmonico and Caseres. Ogden in h r-er bb so era Watt (9-4) 6.0 11 3-3 0 5 4.35 Rondon 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 1.17 St Clair 1.0 1 0-0 1 2 3.18 Garcia (sv 9) 1.0 1 0-0 0 2 2.40 WP- Watt. HBP- Russell. T- 2:35. Att- 2,055.