The South Division Finals move to Heritage Field in Adelanto all tied up at a game apiece. It looked like the Mavericks (Rangers) were headed for their first series lead when they took a three-run lead to the eighth inning. However, the Quakes battled back to score three runs to tie the game in the eighth.
Looking to take the lead in the ninth inning, the Quakes had two outs and none on before they rallied. Tyler Ogle singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Travis Witherspoon. Paul Hoenecke walked to put runners on first and second and Joey Curletta, who had homered earlier to give the Quakes an early 1-0 lead, singled home Witherspoon to break the 5-5 tie.
Josh Sborz, who joined Rancho Cucamonga in mid-August, entered the game in a familiar spot, another opportunity to save a post-season game. Sborz had been the key reliever for the 2015 College World Series champion University of Virginia team.
Sborz retired the first two batters before giving up a single. The next batter, Kevin Torres, grounded out sharply to Cody Bellinger to end the game.
Kyle Hooper picked up his second relief win of the series. Trevor Oaks started for the Quakes. Oaks gave up three runs, seven hits, two walks and struck out two.
After Curletta's home run, the Mavericks took a 3-1 lead. Cody Bellinger hit his second home run of the series to make it 3-2.
The Mavericks answered that with two runs to take a 5-2 lead after seven innings.
In the eighth inning, Ogle doubled and Hoenecke singled him home. Hoenecke moved to second on Curletta's ground out. Devan Ahart's base hit drove in Hoenecke.
Ahart moved to third base when Tim Locastro hit a fly ball single. Willie Calhoun hit his second sacrifice fly of the series to score Ahart and tie the game.
The Quakes will try to close out the series on Tuesday night. If a fifth game is needed, it will take place back at LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga.
Monday box score
California League Game 3: Rancho Cucamonga 6, High Desert 5
7:05 p.m. PT: Game 4 of California South Division Finals (Rancho Cucamonga leads best-of-five series, 2-1)
Rancho Cucamonga (Rob Rogers) at High Desert (Trey Lambert)