Both the 66ers and Quakes finished up their season-opening seven-game stretch with victories on Wednesday.
The Sixers won at Lake Elsinore 4-2 and will return to San Manuel Stadium for their home opener on Thursday against High Desert. Both the Sixers and High Desert are 5-2, tied with San Jose for the best record in the league.
On Wednesday, Travis Witherspoon, Jeremy Cruz and Drew Heid belted home runs for the Sixers. Witherspoon, Cruz, Randal Grichuk and Brian Hernandez had two hits apiece. They backed the pitching of Donn Roach (2-0) who allowed one run while striking out seven in six innings. Manny Correa allowed one unearned run in two innings of relief and Dakota Robinson earned his second save with a shutout ninth. Rehabiltating Padres outfielder Mark Kotsay was 0 for 4 and ex-Sixer Michael Wing was 1 for 4 for Lake Elsinore.
The Quakes, meanwhile, rallied after blowing an early lead to down Lancaster 6-5, on Tyler Henson’s walk-off walk with one out in the ninth. The win gave the Quakes as 3-4 record on their season-opening homestand. They begin a seven-game road trip to Visalia and San Jose on Thursday.
The Quakes led 3-0 after the first inning, and starter Chris Reed was cruising. The Dodgers’ No. 1 draft pick from last year retired the first nine batters he faced, striking out five. But as Quakes manager Juan Bustabad said, “he lost it.” Reed walked the bases loaded to start the fourth, then allowed his first hit, a two-run single to Telvin Nash. Jonathan Meyer added a sacrifice fly to tie the score 3-3 and Reed was out of the game after the inning, having thrown about 80 pitches.
“If he had thrown 15 pitches (in the inning, instead of about 37), he would’ve one out for the fifth and maybe the sixth,” Bustabad said.
Lancaster went on to take 4-3 and 5-4 leads, with the Quakes tying it each time. Henson’s RBI double in the fifth made it 4-4, and Nick Akins homered on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh to make it 5-5.
In the ninth, the Quakes loaded the bases on a Pedro Guerrero double, an Akins walk (after failing to get down a sacrifice bunt) a Casio Grider sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk to Leon Landry, and Henson’s bases-loaded walk. It was Henson’s third RBI of the game. Juan Rodriguez (1-1) struck out all three batters he faced for the win.