Quakes Win Game 1 in Visalia
Visalia, CA - Jared Walker will always remember his first hit of the 2018 postseason, as his ninth-inning home run broke a 4-4 tie and sent the Quakes to a 5-4 victory over the Visalia Rawhide at Recreation Park, giving Rancho a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Championship Series.
Walker was hitless in the South Division series against Lancaster and went 0-for-2 on Tuesday, prior to his ninth-inning opposite-field blast.
With one out, reliever Matt Brill (0-1) left a pitch over the plate that Walker took down the left-field line for his 18 homer in a Rancho uniform this year and his first of the playoffs.
"I wasn't sure I got it," said Walker. "It was 2-0 though and I was taking a hack."
Rancho didn't look sharp out of the gate, as starter Leo Crawford allowed three runs in the last of the second. Visalia's Daulton Varsho opened the scoring with a solo-shot, making it 1-0. A Rancho error allowed the second run to score, before Anfernee Grier capped the frame with a run-scoring single, giving the Rawhide a 3-0 lead.
Rancho went 12 up and 12 down against Visalia starter Riley Smith, before they got going in the fifth. Connor Wong opened the inning with a single, the first of three hits in the inning. Nick Yarnall, who had two hits on the night, smashed a two-out homer to left field, evening the game at 3-3.
Walker drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth, as Rancho grabbed their first lead of the night.
Parker Curry was incredibly sharp on Tuesday, but didn't hold the one-run lead, as he allowed a game-tying homer to Drew Ellis in the bottom of the seventh, evening the game at 4-4.
Curry (1-0) rebounded to work a scoreless and earned the win, thanks to Walker's shot.
After Walker gave the Quakes a 5-4 lead, Dan Jagiello struck out the side in 1-2-3 fashion, securing the save.
Game two of the Championship Series at Recreation Park will take place on Wednesday night, as the Quakes own a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five. Dennis Santana (0-0) will throw on rehab assignment and then be backed up by right-hander Wills Montgomerie. Visalia will counter with right-hander Matt Peacock, with game time slated for 7:00pm.
Game three of the Championship Series will be at LoanMart Field on Friday, September 14th, as the Quakes, looking for their third title in franchise history, will host either Stockton or Visalia at 7:05pm. Tickets are available by calling (909) 481-5000 or online at rcquakes.com. Go Quakes!
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California League Stories from September 12, 2018
- 2018 San Jose Giants Season in Review - San Jose Giants
- Rawhide Drop Heartbreaker in Championship Series Opener - Visalia Rawhide
- Quakes Win Game 1 in Visalia - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
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