SAN BERNARDINO >> The 66ers have had little success against the Quakes this season.
But in a day game Wednesday at San Manuel Stadium, they showed some resiliency.
The Sixers rallied from an early deficit then David Fletcher’s bloop single with one out in the 13th inning scored Ayendy Perez with the winning run in a 5-4 victory over the Quakes.
The victory in front of an announced crowd of 1,463 that dwindled to less than 100 by the game’s end, improved the record for the Sixers (29-55) to 4-13 vs. the Quakes (51-33) this season.
The Sixers had rallied from a 3-0 deficit with four runs in the seventh, capped by Taylor Ward’s two-out, two-run ground-rule double. The double would’ve scored a fifth run had it not bounced over the fence in center field.
“We took better at-bats in that inning,” said Fletcher, who also had an RBI single in the seventh.
“Pitches we normally hit, we were missing early in the game, but we didn’t in that inning,” Sixers manager Chad Tracy said.
The lead didn’t stick as Donovan Tate’s sacrifice fly in the ninth tied the score 4-4 for the Quakes and sent the game into extra innings.
Perez was 3 for 4 with two walks, two runs and an RBI while Ryan Sebra and Fletcher had three hits apiece for the Sixers.
Erick Mejia had three hits and scored twice and Edwin Rios had two hits and drove in two runs for the Quakes, who had beaten the Sixers in 11 innings Tuesday night. The Quakes had just one hit in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position Wednesday, compared to 5-for-13 for the Sixers.
Quakes starter Tommy Bergjans’ record stayed 2-8 despite lowering his ERA to 4.79 by allowing three earned runs and striking out eight in 6 ⅓ innings. Sixers starter Justin Anderson came out after four innings after he felt “something weird” in the middle finger of his pitching hand but Tracy said it was only precautionary and he expects Anderson to make his next start.
The 66ers have fallen completely out of the playoff race with one week to play, but they are winning some individual honors as the regular season enters its final week. On Monday, Victor Alcantara was named California League Pitcher of the Week.
In his win on Friday at Stockton, Alcantara tossed eight innings, allowing just three hits, one unearned run while walking one and striking out eight.
Was this performance a surprise? Based on recent results, yes.
In his previous six starts, Alcantara he was 1-5 with an ERA of 9.09. But on Friday, his performance lowered his season ERA from 6.15 to 5.77 and improving his record to 7-12.
Despite a disappointing week in when they went 1-7, the 66ers earned the California League’s batter of the week award for the first time this season.
Outfielder/designated hitter Brandon Bayardi had a huge week, going 14-for-32 in eight game,s with two doubles, two triples, four home runs, 10 RBIs and nine runs scored. In Sunday’s doubleheader split, he went 4-for-8 with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored.
Although he missed about two months of the season from late May to late July, Bayardi has had a very good season, batting .310 with nine home runs, 35 RBIs and a .394 on-base percentage in 55 games for the Sixers. Bayardi was the Angels’ 36th-round pick out of UNLV in 2013.
He is the first Sixer to be Batter of the Week this season. Chris Ellis, Victor Alcantara and Sean Newcomb won Pitcher of the Week honors. Like the Sixers, the Quakes had one batter (Brandon Dixon) and three pitchers (Jose DeLeon, John Richy, Chase DeJong) win the league’s weekly award this season.
The 2015 California League post-season all-star team was announced on Friday, and both the Quakes and 66ers were represented on the team.
The Quakes’ Tyler Ogle was named the catcher on the squad. Through Thursday, he was batting just .255, but belted 19 home runs and 64 RBIs in 94 games. He was especially effective against right-handers, batting .342 with seven home runs in 79 at-bats.
Cody Bellinger, primarily a first baseman for the Quakes, was named the designated hitter on the squad. Like Ogle, Bellinger’s batting average is not high: .256. But also like Ogle, he’s had success with the long ball, hitting 26 home runs and driving in 87 runs in 114 games. He hasn’t played since last Saturday after taking a pitch off his hand.
The 66ers’ Eric Aquilera, who has played mostly first base, but also some left and right field for the team, was named the utility player on the squad. Aguilera is batting .333 with 16 home runs and 90 RBIs while stealing 13 bases in 113 games.
In addition, Quakes groundskeeper Rex Whitney was named the league’s “Turf Manager of the Year.”
Here is the complete list of honorees:
Manager of the Year: J.R. House, Visalia
Coach of the Year: Gil Heredia, Visalia
Turf manager of the Year: Rex Whitney, Quakes
Clubhouse manager of the Year: Vic Zapien, Stockton
MVP: A.J. Reed, Lancaster
Pitcher of the Year: Antonio Senzatela, Modesto
Rookie of the Year: A.J. Reed, Lancaster
Catcher: Tyler Ogle, Quakes
First base: A.J. Reed, Lancaster
Second base: Jamie Westbrook, Visalia
Third base: Ryan McMahon, Modesto
Shortstop: Christian Arroyo, San Jose
Utility: Eric Aguilera, 66ers
Designated hitter: Cody Bellinger, Quakes
Outfield: Brett Phillips, Lancaster
Outfield: Tyler O’Neill, Bakersfield
Outfield: Raimel Tapia, Modesto
Pitcher: Antonio Senzatela, Modesto
Pitcher: Anthony Banda, Visalia
Pitcher: Chase Johnson, San Jose
Pitcher: Dan Altavilla, Bakersfield
The 2016 California League schedule was released on Wednesday. Here are some highlights:
The season begins on Thursday, April 7 with the Quakes hosting Lake Elsinore and the 66ers at High Desert. It ends on Labor Day, Sept. 5 with the Quakes hosting Modesto and the 66ers at Lancaster.
The Quakes host Stockton on July 3 and are at the 66ers on the 4th. The Sixers are at High Desert on July 3.
The longest Sixer homestand is 8 games, July 4-July 11. The Quakes don’t have an 8-game homestand, but have 5 seven-game homestands.
It used to be that the league seemed to try and not have the Quakes and Sixers at home at the same time, because that big cut into each other’s attendance. But the trend is going the other way.
This year, the teams were home on the same day 22 times, so conversely they were on both on the road 22 times (All off-days are league-wide). Next year, however, that number grows to 32. They will both be home May 2-5, May 20-23, June 1-3, June 23-26, July 16-19, July 28-31, Aug. 9-Aug. 14, Aug. 23-25. They will both be on the road: May 17-19, May 27-30, June 16-19, June 27-29, July 21-24, Aug. 4-7, Aug. 15-21, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
Click below to access the press release
66ers shortstop Roberto Baldoquin on his first spring training in U.S. after coming from Cuba
Baldoquin talks about adjustments coming to the U.S. and learning English
Baldoquin on what kind of player he is
Denny Hocking on his team for 2015
Denny Hocking on shortstop Roberto Baldoquin
Denny Hocking on other players he’s excited to have in 2015
Do you want a chance a stardom? Think you have what it takes to sing the National Anthem at a 66ers Game? Then come try out at the Inland Center Mall this Saturday, March 7th from 10:30am – 1:30pm.