The Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are the only Dodgers minor league affiliate still alive in the postseason, set to start the California League South Division Finals on Saturday night.
The Quakes open at home by virtue of winning the first-half, a feat that also earned them a bye. Their opponent, the High Desert Mavericks (Rangers) had to hold off the Lancaster JetHawks (Astros) in three games over the last three days to get to this round.
As first-half champion, Rancho Cucamonga opens with the first two games of their best-of-five series at home. Both the Quakes and Mavericks finished with the same overall record (78-62), but Rancho Cucamonga gets to host Game 5, if necessary, by virtue of beating High Desert 12 times in their 23 head-to-head meetings this season.
Cal League South Division Finals
Game 1: High Desert (David Ledbetter) at Rancho Cucamonga (Chase De Jong), Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2: High Desert (Dallas Gallant) at Rancho Cucamonga (Scott Barlow), Sunday, 5:05 p.m.
Game 3: Rancho Cucamonga (Trevor Oaks) at High Desert (TBA), Monday, 7:05 p.m.
Game 4*: Rancho Cucamonga (Rob Rogers) at High Desert (TBA), Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
Game 5*: High Desert (TBD) at Rancho Cucamonga (AJ Vanegas), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.
The travel for the divisional finals will be relatively light, with just under 40 miles between LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga and Mavericks Stadium in Adelanto.
High Desert had Reed Garrett, Trey Lambert and David Perez, in that order, start their three games against Lancaster, so would be in line to potentially start the final three games of this series.
On offense the Quakes are led by All-Stars Cody Bellinger and Tyler Ogle, the former who hit .264/.336/.538 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI in 128 games, the first Dodgers minor leaguer with a 30/100 season in the Cal League since Chin-Feng Chen in 1999.
A pair of outfielders have shined since their promotion from Great Lakes, with Jacob Scavuzzo hitting .308/.376/.568 with 13 home runs and 18 doubles in 61 games, and 2014 second-round pick Alex Verdugo hitting .385/.406/.659 with 15 extra-base hits in 23 games.
Verdugo was white hot to end the regular season, taking a seven-game hitting streak into Saturday, during which time he is 15-for-26, hitting .577/.586/.962 to earn player of the week honors.
The winner of this South Division Finals series plays the winner of the North Division Finals between San Jose (Giants) and Visalia (Diamondbacks). The California League Finals begin on Thursday, Sept. 17 and the best-of-five series will be run for up to five days straight. The South Division will host the first two games, with the North Division hosting the final three games.