Quakes Offense Nearly No-Hit
One night later than planned, the 2017 season has begun for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in Stockton. Tonight the Ports and the Quakes will play a double header. Two 7 inning games. Game one began with starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson facing off against Stockton’s Brett Graves. In the first inning the Quakes went pretty quietly versus the hard throwing righty hurler. Then in the second inning of work, Graves struck out the side against the talented lineup in blue. Graves, aggressive in the strike zone early, cruised through two more innings of work without one baserunner reaching against him. Graves faced the minimum of 12 batters, he had five strikeouts and 6 of his other out recorded via the ground ball. None hit particularly hard.
Joey Wagman was brought in to face the Quakes in the 5th inning, so there was some hope at seeing this pitcher a little better than Graves. Did not prove to be the case in the 5th as the Quakes once more went down in order. In the 6th, Mejia, Sandoval and Landon were set down in order. Due to the double-header, each game is only 7 innings, so history is impending unless the offense can get off the mat.
In the 7th, after Drew Jackson made the first out of the inning, Omar Estevez stepped to the plate. The highly rated infield prospect for the Dodgers calmly stroked a single into left field to break up the perfect game and the no-hitter.
Tonight game was started by LHP Caleb Ferguson, making his debut with Rancho after finishing last season with the Loons at Great Lakes. Never let anyone tell you that the jump between levels in the minor leagues is not a significant difference. Ferguson, who had pinpoint control in low A and in Rookie ball, labored noticeably in the first inning. Professional hitters are fantastic at capitalizing on any advantage they can get. The Port’s were able to push across one run in the first inning and one in the second inning.
Coach Saylor turned to his bullpen early tonight and brought in RHP Adam Bray to start the 3rd inning. Bray was impressive tonight as he delivered some relief and kept the Quakes in the game, despite their lack of base runners, it would just take one runner to have the tying run come to the plate. Adam Bray is the player of the game for this performance and deserved to have a victory, if the bats could just wake from their slumber.
After Estevez was able to disrupt history for the Port’s hurlers, the power hitting OF DJ Peters came to the plate, representing the tying run. Tonight, or at least this game, victory was out of the Quakes’ reach. The Quakes lost 2-0 to the Ports and will come right back after it in game 2 later tonight. Go Dodgers!
|Rancho Cucamonga Quakes|
Team LOB: 1.
E: Mejia, E (1, fielding).
Pickoffs: Ferguson (White, E at 1st base).
TB: White, E 2; Murphy; Iriart.
RBI: Murphy (1); White, E (1).
2-out RBI: Murphy; White, E.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: White, M; Iriart 2; Bolt.
Team RISP: 2-for-5.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: White, M (1, 2nd base off Bray/Smith, W).
CS: White, E (1, 2nd base by Ferguson/Smith, W).
PO: White, E (1st base by Ferguson).
|Rancho Cucamonga Quakes|
|Caleb Ferguson (L, 0-1)||2.0||4||2||2||4||2||0||9.00|
|Joey Wagman (W, 1-0)||3.0||1||0||0||0||3||0||0.00|
Pitches-strikes: Ferguson 64-32; Bray 56-37; Graves 42-26; Wagman 31-22.
Groundouts-flyouts: Ferguson 1-1; Bray 2-5; Graves 6-0; Wagman 3-2.
Batters faced: Ferguson 13; Bray 14; Graves 12; Wagman 10.