It was far from a thing of beauty, but it’s understandable if the 66ers found a little more beauty in their second game of the season than the Quakes.
The teams combined for five errors and 18 walks and more than 4 1/2 hours after they started the diehard Sixer fans were rewarded with a 7-6, 12-inning Sixers victory over the Quakes at chilly, rainy, Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Friday.
Sixer second baseman Michael Wing, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga and went to Upland High School, would’ve had a chance to play for his hometown Quakes had he made the Cal League last year. But with the affiliation change, he’s in San Bernardino instead of Rancho Cucamonga.
Wing’s third hit of the game, a one-out, bases-loaded two-run single to center scored the tying and winning runs in the 12th inning to cap a Sixers comeback. The Sixers are 2-0 for the first time since 2003.
The Sixers rallied from a couple of deficits. They trailed 5-2 in the eighth before scoring twice in the eighth (one on an error and one on a bases-loaded walk) then scored the tying run in the ninth when the Quakes were unable to turn a double play on Dwayne Bailey’s one-out, bases-loaded grounder to second.
The Quakes took the lead back in the top of the 12th. Jake Lemmerman led off with a double and J.T. Wise was hit by a Nick Pugliese (1-0) pitch. Blake Smith then bunted, but Pugliese alertly threw to third to force Lemmerman. After Travis Denker popped up, Angelo Songco singled to left and Angels rehabilitating left fielder Reggie Willits’ throw the the plate was woefully short and Wise scored to give the Quakes a 6-5 lead.
The Sixers immediately threatened with help from the Quakes. Jose Jimenez led off with a walk and Kole Calhoun sacrificed. Calhoun was out at first, but second baseman Rafael Ynoa, covering first, dropped the throw and runners were on first and second.
Willits (1 for 4), then successfully sacrificed for the second time in three innings, putting runners on second and third. Jean Segura was intentionally walked for the second time in three innings to set the stage for Wing, whose grounder to second allowed Jimenez and Calhoun to score.
In the 10th, the Sixers missed a chance to win. Wing reached on an error to load the bases with one out, before Matt Long grounded into a fielder’s choice at the plate. After a pitch to Terrell Alliman, catcher Gorman Erickson’s throw back to pitcher Luis Vasquez got away and trickled toward second. Segura aggressively tried to race home, but was thrown out by Ynoa to end the inning.