Saturday’s Quakes-66ers game could be sign of exciting finish

Yes, Saturday’s Quakes 12-9 victory over the 66ers before 3,785 at the Epicenter was just one game, but the game seemed to be an indication of other trends for the team.

First, the recap.

The Quakes took a 10-2 lead in the fourth inning, thanks to two-run homers by Austin Gallagher (11th), Preston Mattingly (second) and Angelo Songco (19th). Gallagher and Mattingly are ex-Sixers and they hit the homers against starter Ryan Chaffee (2-10), an ex-Quake.

The Sixers rallied and Casey Haerther hit a pinch-hit three-run homer (his eighth) in the seventh inning to make it 10-8. After Michael Wing hit two early homers and Matt Long one, it was the fourth homer of the game. It was the first time this season the Quakes allowed four homers. They were the last team in the league who hadn’t allowed at least four homers in a game.

The Quakes added two runs in the seventh to make it 12-8, but the Sixers weren’t done.

Eric Oliver’s RBI double in the ninth made it 12-9 and after a single by Haerther, Quakes manager Juan Bustabad summoned closer Logan Bawcom.

Bawcom walked David Harris to put the tying run on base, but Jose Jimenez hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game as Bawcom earned his third save.

Some things we learned:

1–The Quakes (56-43 overall, 18-11 second half) aren’t playing like a team that already won the first half. They keep winning and winning.

2–The Sixers (45-54, 13-16) aren’t the same team that lost the first nine games of the second half. They’ve won or split their last six series this season (5-0-1).

3–While the pitching matchup involved probably the two worst starters for each team, both bullpens have been suspect of late. Both teams have plenty of untested arms that will make for an interesting closing stretch to the regular season.