Colt Emerson had four hits and four RBIs as to lead the Modesto Nuts to a 14-8 win over Rancho Cucamonga for the California League championship. The Nuts swept the first two games of the best-of-three series to claim their first league title since 2017.
Modesto erased a 1-0 deficit with a four-run second inning and stretched it out to a 6-1 lead before Rancho Cucamonga came back with two runs in the fourth to make it 6-3. A run in the fifth made it 7-3, Modesto, but the Quakes answered with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-7 lead.
But that was it for Rancho Cucamonga while Modesto kept adding on.
The Nuts got the lead right back with three in the sixth en route to seven unanswered runs.
Michael Arroyo was 3-for-6 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored. Luis Suisbel was 2-for-6 with a home run.
Modesto finished the season in dominant fashion, chasing down the Fresno Grizzlies to claim the second-half crown in the North division, then kept rolling through the playoffs. Overall, it is Modesto’s 10th league championship and its second since it became an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
MODESTO – 14
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – 8
Championship Series Gm 1
The Modesto Nuts fell behind 1-0 in the third inning, then came roaring back with nine runs in the fifth and went on to win game one of the California League championship series by a score of 9-2 over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Sunday night. Tatem Levins hit a grand slam and Jonny Farmelo hit a three-run shot as Modesto’s high-powered lineup continued to roll.
Jake Gelof hit a pair of solo home runs to account for both of Rancho Cucamonga’s runs.
Three Modesto pitchers scattered seven hits and allowed just one walk with 12 strikeouts.
3,573 fans showed up at John Thurman Field for Modesto’s last home game of the year. Game two of the championship series will be in Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday at 6:30pm.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – 2
MODESTO – 9
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes fell behind 4-0, then came back to win the deciding game of the South division series by a score of 11-6 on Friday night at LoanMart Field. The Quakes will face the Modesto Nuts in Game 1 of the championship series on Sunday night at John Thurman Field.
Joe Vetrano hit two home runs and drove in five runs to lead the Rancho Cucamonga attack. Five different Quakes had multi-hit games as the club belted out 14 hits, including four home runs.
Down 4-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Rancho Cucamonga put up eight runs, then added a ninth run in the third inning. Up 9-4, they never looked back. Garrett McDaniels finished the game with three scoreless innings to earn the win.
The best-of-three championship series starts Sunday night at 6:05 in Modesto, then shifts to Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday, Game three will be on Wednesday in Rancho if necessary.
INLAND EMPIRE – 6
RANCHO CUCAMONGA -11
The Modesto Nuts punched their ticket to the California League championship series with a 13-4 romp over San Jose to sweep their North division playoff series. It was typical of Modesto’s late-season dominance as they scored their 13 runs on 17 hits and drew six walks while scoring multiple runs in four straight innings. The Giants got out to a 4-0 lead and ultimately used seven pitchers with no answers to the Nuts’ high-powered offense.
Michael Arroyo was 5-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. Tatem Levins had three hits and a walk with two RBIs and two runs scored. Colt Emerson had three hits and drove in three runs.
Riley Davis pitched six shutout innings out of the bullpen for Modesto, allowing two hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
Game one of the championship series will be on Sunday at 5:05 pm in Modesto.
MODESTO – 13
SAN JOSE – 4
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes built a 4-0 lead and then held off the Inland Empire 66ers for a 4-3 win to even the South division playoff series at 1-1. The two teams combined for just nine hits and Rancho appeared to have the game will in hand with strong pitching and a pair of two-run innings to build their lead.
But Inland Empire almost spoiled the party with three eighth-inning runs and a ninth-inning rally that loaded the bases on walks and wild pitches. The Quakes got out of it unscathed and now there will be a third game on Friday at 6:30 pm at LoanMart Field.
INLAND EMPIRE – 3
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – 4
The Inland Empire 66ers held serve in game one of the South division playoffs, shutting out the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 3-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. Jeremy Arocha was 1-for-2 with a walk and scored two runs for the 66ers and Joel Hurtado allowed just one hit and one walk over seven innings with four strikeouts. The series moves to Rancho Cucamonga for game two on Thursday night at 6:30 pm.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – 0
INLAND EMPIRE – 3
The Modesto Nuts came back in the late innings and took game one of the North division playoff series with a 6-5 win over the San Jose Giants in 10 innings. Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Jonny Farmelo tripled in a run to cut the deficit to one, and the comeback was on. Lazaro Montes homered in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up and Colt Emerson walked it off in the 10th with a bases-loaded single. Game two will be in San Jose on Thursday night at 7 pm.
SAN JOSE – 5
MODESTO – 6
The 2023 California League regular season ended yesterday with the Modesto Nuts and Inland Empire 66ers finishing the second half as division winners. The playoff matchups are set with the divisional series starting on Tuesday:
RANCHO CUCAMONGA at INLAND EMPIRE Gm 1, 6:35 pm.
SAN JOSE at MODESTO Gm 1, 7:05 pm.
Wednesday will be an off day with Game 2’s going on Thursday at Rancho Cucamonga and San Jose. Pending the outcomes, Game 3’s will be played on Friday as necessary. The championship series starts on Sunday, September 17th.
Modesto @ Fresno Gm 5
After losing for the first time in 17 games the night before, the Modesto Nuts got right to it with a seven-run first inning and rolled to a 17-2 win over the Grizzlies in Fresno on Saturday night. The victory clinched the North division second half title and a spot in the California League playoffs starting Tuesday night.
The seven-run inning wasn’t the biggest inning of the game for Modesto, either. They batted around for nine runs in the seventh inning, which started with an already-commanding 8-1 lead.
Modesto @ Fresno Gm 4
The Fresno Grizzlies need a clean sweep over the weekend to qualify for the California League playoffs and step one of the three-part plan went well on Friday night. Aidan Longwell doubled in a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and the Grizzlies finished it off for a 3-2 win over Modesto. The Nuts saw their 16-game winning streak end and their North division lead cut to two games with two to play.
Facing elimination, the Grizzlies struck first on an RBI single by Jake Snider in the second inning. Snider drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to put Fresno up 2-0.
Modesto @ Fresno Gm 3
The Modesto Nuts shut out the Fresno Grizzlies 8-0 on Thursday night and stretched their lead in the North division to two games with three to play. Logan Evans (W, 1-0) went five innings and gave up three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Colt Emerson and RJ Schreck each had three hits.
The Grizzlies took the field on Thursday night in second place for the first time in the second half. With their 16th striaght win, the Nuts put them farther back. Fresno needs to win all three of the remaining games over the weekend to make the playoffs. Modesto can clinch with a win on Friday night or either of the games thereafter.
Modesto @ Fresno Gm 2
The Modesto Nuts won their 15th straight game and took over first place in the North division with a 7-5 win over the Grizzlies in Fresno on Wednesday night. Lazaro Montes singled in two runs in the fifth inning as the Nuts took a 4-3 lead, overcoming an early 3-0 deficit.
Tatem Levins hit his ninth home run of the season in the sixth inning to make it 5-3 Modesto. Two more runs in the seventh put the game out of reach. EJ Andrews hit a two-run homer for the Grizzlies in the bottom of the seventh to cut Modesto’s lead to 7-5. Fresno got no closer and Juan Burgos (S, 7) finished it off with a clean ninth inning for Modesto.