RANCHO CUCAMONGA – The JetHawks squandered multiple opportunities in their series-opener against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, leaving a season-high 15 runners on-base in a 5-4 loss on Monday night at LoanMart Field.
The win pushed Rancho Cucamonga’s franchise-record winning streak to 14 games. The loss dropped Lancaster (11-8, 44-45) back under .500 on the season.
Down a run in the later innings, the JetHawks put the tying run on base in the final four frames but couldn’t score. They had runners at first and second with nobody out in the sixth and a runner at second base with no outs in the seventh.
Lancaster put two runners on in the ninth inning on a walk and a hit batter but Andre Scrubb struck out Steven Linkous and Manny Melendez to end the game. Scrubb picked up his first save with two scoreless innings.
The Quakes (17-2, 52.37) scored all five of their runs on home runs. Cody Thomas launched a solo homer in the first and Connor Wong added another in the second, but Jared Walker’s three-run home run in the fourth inning proved the difference.
Lancaster had rallied for two runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. Max George tied the game with a solo home run, his 11th of the season and sixth over his last 10 games, and Carlos Herrera added a go-ahead double to make it 3-2.
Matt Dennis (6-9) gave up back-to-back hits with one out in the bottom of the fourth before Walker homered with two outs. The three home runs allowed by Dennis tied his career-high. He lasted 5.2 innings, allowing the five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
In the top of the fifth the JetHawks chased Rancho starter Leo Crawford from the game and rallied for a run. The left-hander gave up two hits and was replaced by Ryan Moseley. Steven Linkous drove in a run with a hit against the reliever, but George grounded out to leave the tying run aboard.
Moseley (3-2) pitched 1.2 innings for the win.
Herrera and Tyler Nevin each totaled three hits in the game. Joel Diaz had two hits, including a double, and also drew a walk.
The four-game series continues Tuesday at LoanMart Field. Brandon Gold (6-5) starts for Lancaster against Tony Gonsolin (3-2). First pitch is 7:05 p.m.