Tight race atop Cal League South

The Quakes, by virtue of their 11-6 victory over Lancaster on Wednesday night, moved into sole possession of first place in the South Division, with an 11-9 record. Three different Quakes drove in three runs apiece: Angelo Songco, Travis Denker and Ramon Jean. Songco and Denker also homered. Jean had a team-high three hits in the Quakes’ 13-hit attack.

But there’s little separation. The 66ers defeated the Mavericks 14-6 Wednesday, as Jean Segura hit his first two home runs and drove in four and Jon Karcich also drove in four to lead the Sixers. The Sixers’ win moved them to 10-10, one game behind the Quakes and tied with Lancaster in second place. The Mavericks are only two games out at 9-11, while last-place Lake Elsinore is far from out of it with an 8-12 record after winning at Stockton on Wednesday.

Each team will be playing the finale of a four-game series on Thursday. After that, the Quakes head to High Desert, while the Sixers return home to play Lancaster.

Cavazos-Galvez skips Quakes

So much for Dodgers touted outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez coming to the Quakes. Cavazos-Galvez, ranked as the Dodgers’ 19th prospect by Baseball America, batted .318 with 16 home runs for low SIngle-A Great Lakes last season. He began 2011 in extended spring training with an injury, but was expected to join the Quakes when healthy.

Yet perhaps as a result of the promotion of prospect Jerry Sands to the Dodgers, Cavazos-Galvez instead was sent to Double-A Chattanooga, where he made his season debut on Tuesday, going 2 for 3.

Add Cavazos-Galvez to the list of Dodgers prospects who have missed the Cal League in recent years, including Sands, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew Lambo and Dee Gordon.

Thanks to Quakes official scorer Ryan Wilson for reminding me of Lambo, now playing at Triple-A for the Pirates.

66ers, Quakes make roster moves: Nestor released

The Sixers and Quakes both made roster moves on Tuesday.

The Dodgers released Quakes right-hander Scott Nestor, a Bonita High and Chaffey College product. Nestor had allowed four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings (10.80 ERA) while walking six.

In his place, the Quakes got right-hander Javier Solano, who had been in extended spring training. Solano split last year between the 66ers and Double-A Chattanooga, going 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA with the Sixers and 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA with Chattanooga.

Two Sixers, third baseman Dillon Baird and catcher Ikko Sumi were promoted to Double-A Arkansas. Baird was hitting .372 (16 of 43) with three home runs and 13 RBIs and had hits in each of his last five Cal League games, including a 5 for 5 game on Saturday at Bakersfield.

Sumi, the Sixers backup to Jose Jimenez, was 0 for 12 on the season.

Replacing them were infielder Mitch Blackburn from low Single-A Cedar Rapids and catcher Chris Hannick from extended spring training. Blackburn was 4 for 20 with four walks for Cedar Rapids, while Hannick was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Cal State Northridge last off-season and has not yet played in the pros.

66ers win epic record-setting game, 24-19

Kudos to 66ers broadcaster Sam Farber for broadcasting all of the 66ers game on Saturday night in Bakersfield, and good luck to him broadcasting Sunday’s afternoon game in San Jose.

Saturday’s Sixers game at Bakersfield featured a combined 43 runs, 49 hits and seven errors. And four hours, 55 minutes after they started, the Sixers outlasted the Bakersfield Blaze 24-19.

The game set a league record for longest 9-inning game (4:55). The old record? A mere 4:10 for the highest-scoring game in league history, a 33-18 game between Lake Elsinore and High Desert in 2009.

Some of the details:

  • The Sixers trailed 16-7 in the sixth inning, when they scored 10 runs, capped by Dillon Baird’s second home run of the game, a two-run shot to go up 17-16. All those runs scored with no outs and the first 11 batters of the inning reached base by hit or walk.
  • Eric Campbell of Bakersfield had six RBIs, including an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth that tied the score, 19-19. Campbell was 4 for 4 to raise his average to a robust .559. He has a pretty good chance to be the league’s first hitter of the week, to be announced on Monday.
  • Baird’s RBI double in the ninth started a five-run rally and snapped the 19-19 tie.
  • Baird finished 5 for 5 with four runs and five RBIs. Dwayne Bailey had two hits and five RBIs for the Sixers, raising his average to .129. Jean Segura also had five hits for the Sixers.
  • Of the 11 pitchers combined in the game, only two (one for each team) didn’t allow a run. Jose Perez (1-0) pitched the final 1 1/3 shutout innings to earn the win.
  • All 10 of the Sixers batters (including substitution Ryan Broussard) had a hit and scored a run.

Quakes, 66ers post wins

Thursday marked the opening of the first homestand for the Quakes and the first road trip for the 66ers and both teams came away with victories,

The Quakes built a 5-0 lead then watched as Lancaster rallied for three runs in the ninth.

What started as a festive atmosphere celebrating the Quakes’ first home game as a Dodgers affiliate included some boos in the ninth as the first five JetHawks reached base against relievers Robert Romero and Steven Ames. An error by third baseman Travis Denker loaded the bases with two outs and the score 5-3, but Ames retired Jose Altuve on a fly to left and the Quakes escaped with a 5-3 victory before 3,824 at the Epicenter.

J.T. Wise had two hits, including a two-run single for the Quakes. Austin Gallagher added two hits, including a solo homer for the game’s first run in the second inning. The Quakes won despite leaving 12 runners on base.

The Sixers (5-3), meanwhile, hit the road for the first time, playing in Bakersfield for the Blaze’s home opener. Manuel Flores allowed only one run on nine hits in six innings while walking none and striking out seven as the Sixers were victorious, 6-2.

Kole Calhoun had two hits, including a 3-run homer for the Sixers while Casey Haerther had two hits and two RBIs and Matt Long had three hits and scored twice. Johnny Hellweg pitched two perfect innings in relief, striking out five of the six batters he faced for the Sixers.

Quakes get first win, beat 66ers, 11-6

It was far from pretty, but after two disappointing losses to start the season, the Quakes will take Saturday’s 11-6 win over the 66ers.

The Quakes had 13 hits, including four by Austin Gallagher (including a double and a triple), who drove in four runs, while J.T. Wise went 3 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs and belted the team’s first home run of the season. The Sixers contributed five errors leading to six unearned runs.

“We swung the bats tonight, with 13 hits,” Quakes manager Juan Bustabad said. “We gave (starter JonMichael) Redding a chance to give us five good innings.”

Redding (1-0), who as a member of the Sixers in 2010 went 1-1 with a 5.76 ERA in six starts against the Quakes, pitched five innings, allowing five hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four.

He liked what he saw from Wise, who will be in the lineup regularly, as a catcher, first baseman and designated hitter.

“J.T. swung the bat well. We’re going to get his bat into the lineup,” Bustabad said.

In the loss, Sixers manager Tom Gamboa saw some positive signs.

“We battled back tonight,” Gamboa said. “Their third baseman (Tony Delmonco) said to me in the eighth inning, ‘I thought we had enough runs, but you guys don’t quit.’ That was a compliment.”

Trailing 11-2, the Sixers scored four times in the eighth inning, and had the bases loaded with Reggie Willits at the plate. Willits looked at strike three, although he didn’t think it was a strike and neither did Gamboa.

The Sixers’ first two batters in the ninth walked, but Scott Nestor (Bonita HS/Chaffey College) retired the next three batters to end the game.

Rancho resident Wing delivers final blow to Quakes

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.

New 66ers/old Quakes beat new Quakes/old Sixers

It was opening night at Arrowhead Credit Union Park on Thursday night and there was little evidence that the 66ers had once been a proud affiliate for the Dodgers.

With a new coat of Angels red paint in the clubhouse, a big Angels logo on the field and new uniforms that only had a small hint of blue as part of their logo, the Sixers celebrated their new Angels partnership with a home win. The new Sixers defeated the Quakes, who are the new Dodgers affiliate 6-2, before 3,585 at chilly ACU Park.

As a Dodgers affiliate last year, the Sixers went a minor-league worst 19-51 at home.

By the end, most of the fans were gone, but those who were there as Sixers fans had to like what they saw. This year, with some players who led the Quakes to within one game of a Cal League championship last year, they are off to a good start — albeit after one game.

Sixers pitchers allowed only five hits and none after the fifth inning, but walked a total of 12 and the Quakes went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on base.

The Quakes looked more like the SIxers team that struggled in 2010, and not the Dodgers’ low Single-A Great Lakes team that went 90-49.

Ex-Sixer Tony Delmonico was 2 for 4, the only Quake with multiple hits. Ex-Quake Dillon Baird went 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs, Casey Haerther had two hits and two RBIs, while rehabbing Angel Reggie Willits was 1 for 5 with a two-run single. Another rehabbing Angel, reliever Scott Downs, got the win, despite allowing the tying run on two hits and a walk in the fifth inning.


Change for Mavericks radio

Alex Freedman, who had been the Mavericks broadcaster for the last several seasons, will not be broadcasting games for the 2011 season for the team.

The new owners of the Mavericks have apparently changed the position, effictively eliminating a fulltime broadcaster.

Freedman had originally served as the Mavericks’ No. 2 broadcaster under Jon Rosen beginning in the 2007 season, then succeeded Rosen when Rosen left for other opportunities  I believe for the 2008 season.

Freedman writes that William Calvert, who had broadcast games for Bakersfield and Lancaster in the last couple of years, will broadcast weekend Mavericks home and commuter games on the internet for the 2011 season.