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.
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.
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
I just had an exchange of e-mails with Matt Blaney from the California League office to clear up the potentially confusing playoff scenario in the Cal League’s South Division w.
So far, Lancaster and Lake Elsinore are in the playoffs, but the 66ers, Quakes and High Desert are still in the running for the division’s last playoff spot, with 4 games remaining, including tonight.
Here’s how it breaks down.
- The 66ers (tied for 2nd with LE, 1 game back of Lancaster), need to win the 2nd half to make the playoffs. BUT, they only need to tie for the 2nd half title. Matt said that if the 66ers tie with Lake Elsinore (they can’t tie with Lancaster, because they are playing Lancaster), for the 2nd half title, there would be NO 1-game playoff, because Lake Elsinore is already in the playoffs. The 66ers would get in and play Lake Elsinore in the first round.
- The Quakes and High Desert can only get in if the 66ers are not involved in the 2nd half title. They WOULD have a 1-game playoff if the 66ers aren’t involved and if the Quakes and HD are tied. HD leads the Quakes by 1 game, with 4 left.
- Here’s who plays who: 66ers at Lancaster, Quakes at Lake Elsinore, San Jose at High Desert.
- In the North Division, it’s between Visalia and San Jose for the last playoff spot, with Visalia leading by 3 games. Bakersfield and Stockton are already in.
The Angels haven’t made the official announcement yet, but the word is that Denny Hocking will manage the 66ers in 2013.
He is expected to be joined by hitting coach Brent Del Chiaro, and pitching coach Matt Wise and bullpen coach Steve Hernandez. Del Chiaro and Hernandez were part of the 66ers’ 2013 California League championship team.
Hocking, 43, was the Angels manager in the rookie-level Arizona League last year, leading the Angels to a 30-26 record. He was a big-league infielder from 1993-2005, primarily with the Minnesota Twins but also briefly with the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals. He batted .251 with 25 home runs and 226 RBIs in his career. He went to West Torrance High School and El Camino College.
His pitching coach in the Arizona League last year was Wise, a Bonita High graduate was a big-league pitcher from 2000-2008 with the Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets.
After the 66ers won the title, manager Bill Haselman and pitching coach Brandon Emmanuel were let go by the Angels.
Although admittedly I didn’t get to cover many games in the last half of the season, I have been considering how surprising a run it was for the 66ers to win their sixth California League title, sweeping San Jose in the best-of-five finals on Saturday night.
It was the franchise’s first and the first for an Angels affiliate since Lake Elsinore in 1996.
There are some similarities with this team and the last Sixers team to win a title, in 2006 as a Mariners affiliate.
That 2006 team, managed by Gary Thurman, won the first half in bizarre fashion. Poor scheduling left the Sixers a game short in the first half an a half game behind High Desert. So the Sixers’ last game of the 1st half (and High Desert’s first of the 2nd half) was a Sixer victory that tied them for the first half title. So the next game, also against High Desert was another Sixer win, and the first half title, clinching a playoff spot.
Then the team was gutted. Players were promoted and what was left was a rag-tag group primarily of non-prospects.
The Quakes and 66ers open the California League playoffs on Wednesday in a best-of-3 series against each other. Game 1 is in Rancho Cucamonga, Games 2 and 3, if necessary, are in San Bernardino.
Here is a look at the teams:
Last time the franchises met in the playoffs: 2004, 66ers won best-of-3, 2-0
Last time Dodgers and Angels’ affiliates met in the playoffs: 2000, San Bernardino Stampede (Dodgers) def. Lake Elsinore (Angels) 2-0.
66ers-Quakes all-time in playoffs: 66ers are 4-0
66ers-Quakes this year: 66ers won season series, 16-8.
Team head-to-head statistics: 66ers .281 BA, 16 errors, 4.08 ERA,; Quakes .256, 36 errors, 5.02 ERA.
Top head-to-head players on current roster: 66ers — Brian Hernandez (24 G, .407, 2 HR, 24 RBIs), Zach Borenstein (15 G, .466, 4 HR, 15 RBIs), Alex Yarbrough, (24 G, .321, 18 RBIs), Eric Cendejas (8G, 3-0, 1 SV, 1.69 ERA); Quakes — Bobby Coyle (9 G, .333, 5 HR), Chris Jacobs (14 G, .286, 4 HR, 10 RBIs), Scott Schebler (.22 G, .271, 3 HR, 13 RBIs), Darnell Sweeney (24 G, .293, 1 HR, 12 RBIs), Scott Wingo (.326); Matt Shelton (8 IP, 3 H, 0 R), Daniel Coulombe (1.93 ERA, 12 K, 9 1/3 IP)
OVERALL IN 2013
Records: 66ers 69-71, Quakes, 65-75
Pitching ranks: 66ers 4.64 ERA (fifth), Quakes 4.90 (seventh)
Runs scored: 66ers 675 (ninth), Quakes 728 (fourth)
Errors: 66ers 122 (fewest), Quakes 198 (most). Sixers infield of 1B Michael Snyder, 2B Alex Yarbrough, SS Eric Stamets and 3B Brian Hernandez lead the league in fielding percentage at their respective positions
Cal League postseason all-stars: 66ers — OF Zach Borenstein (MVP, .337, 28 HR, 95 RBIs), 1B Michael Snyder (.280, 25 HR, 92 RBIs), 2B Alex Yarbrough (.313, 11 HR, 80 RBIs, 14 SBs), P Mark Sappington (11-4, 3.37 ERA, promoted); Quakes — OF Scott Schebler (.296, 27 HRs, 91 RBIs).
MANAGERS PLAYOFF HISTORY
Quakes’ Carlos Subero: first time in playoffs in 4 years as Cal League manager
66ers’ Bill Haselman: 1st time in playoffs in 3 years as Cal League manager