Down to their last strike with nobody on in the ninth inning, the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes rallied for a thrilling, walk-off 6-5 win over the High Desert Mavericks (Rangers) in Game 5 of the California League South Division Finals, moving on to the league championship.
Down 0-2 in the count with two outs, Jacob Scavuzzo walked in the ninth inning, then Cody Bellinger singled to put runners on first and third. Tyler Ogle walked to load the bases, then Delvis Morales singled past third base. Scavuzzo scored, and Bellinger easily beat the throw from left fielder Joe Jackson, leading to the Quakes stepping out of the dugout to wildly celebrate at home plate.
Your QUAKES... ARE GOING TO THE SHIP as South Division Champs!!!! Back home tomorrow at 7:05PM for Game 1 of the California League Championship! #AllStarSeason #Playoffs #RCQuakes #dodgersPosted by Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Baseball on Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Morales was pinch hitting for Josh Sborz, who recorded the final two outs of the ninth for the win.
Rancho Cucamonga will move on to the Cal League Finals, hosting the first two games against San Jose in the best-of-five series, with the final three games in San Jose. The Dodgers and Giants will battle, at least on the Class-A level this season.
Bellinger and Willie Calhoun each had two hits for Rancho Cucamonga, with Calhoun and Spencer Navin hitting back-to-back home runs in the second inning. Navin drove home two runs.
Joey Curletta was 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a sacrifice fly in Game 5, and was 5-for-10 with two doubles, two home runs, two walks and four RBI in the series.
A.J. Vanegas started on the mound for the Quakes and matched his season high with four innings, allowing two runs. The Mavs took a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning with a three-run home run by Royce Bollinger off Kyle Hooper, who recovered to pitch a scoreless sixth inning. Michael Johnson struck out three in two scoreless innings before Sborz took over in the ninth.
The team that scored first won all five games of the series.
It was a productive day for the Quakes both on and off the field, as the team was named the Cal League Organization of the Year earlier in the day, with general manager Grant Riddle named the Executive of the Year.
"All of us with the Quakes' family are so proud of the year that we've had," said Riddle. "Our fan support has been top-notch again this year, from the All-Star Game here at LoanMart Field, all the way through these current playoffs. This award is truly for our fans, partners, staff and our community."
Wednesday box score
California League Finals (best-of-five series)
Game 1: San Jose (Jordan Johnson) at Rancho Cucamonga (Chase DeJong). 7:05 p.m. PT