Rancho Cucamonga crushes four home runs on way to third league title
By Vinnie Longo
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, carrying a 2-0 series lead into the third game of the series, took advantage of a bloop double and took a lead in the bottom of the second.
Then, just as Visalia starter Connor Grey started getting into a rhythm having struck out three straight, eventual Championship Series MVP Cristian Santana hit a lined shot that carried out of the ballpark to straightaway center.
Nick Yarnall followed by drawing a deep count and going back-to-back with Santana by hitting a high, arcing shot to right. Rancho Cucamonga (6-1) led 3-0 and never looked back.
Kendall put a two-run triple down the line in right in the eighth and scored on a wild pitch. He finished with four hits, drove home four, and scored three.
Grey (L, 0-1) was lifted after the fourth inning having tied his career high by allowing three home runs. He gave up four runs on six hits and struck out five.
Visalia (3-6) was held without a hit by Quakes starter Isaac Anderson until the fifth when Marcus Wilson singled up the middle. The only other Rawhide hit came when Wilson doubled home Drew Eilis in the seventh against Los Angeles Dodgers’ rehabber John Axford.
Anderson (W, 1-0) pitched six shutout innings and held the Rawhide to just one hit while striking out six. Two Dodgers pitchers, Axford and Tony Cingrani, worked on rehab assignments and Yimi Garcia, who is on the 40-man active Dodgers roster, started the ninth.
The victory gave Rancho Cucamonga their third California League championship in franchise history and their second in the last four years. Each of the last four Cal League Championship series have resulted in sweeps. Visalia’s championship drought has now extended to 40 years.
This marks the season’s end for the California League North Division Champion Visalia Rawhide. Thank you for your support this year and we look forward to having you back at Rawhide Ballpark next season.