|© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
JetHawks able to wait out the Storm09/11/2008 2:03 AM ET
By Alan Friedman / Special to MLB.com
Yamaico Navarro and Michael Jones keyed a two-run eighth-inning rally that carried host Lancaster past Lake Elsinore, 10-8, and into the California League Finals on Wednesday night.
The JetHawks will meet the Stockton Ports in the best-of-5 Championship Series set to begin Thursday at Banner Island Ballpark.
"These guys never quit," Lancaster manager Chad Epperson said. "They go out and get it done. We may not have the best team on paper, but these guys play real well together and they've got a lot of heart."
With the game tied in the eighth, 8-8, Reid Engel singled, moved to second base on a passed ball and raced home on Navarro's single to right. Navarro eventually moved to third on a fielding error by right fielder Brian Joynt and a base hit by Jon Still, and then scored on Jones' infield single to third.
Lancaster's two-run outburst came after the Storm tallied twice in the top of the eighth to tie the game.
"When (Lake Elsinore) got those two runs in the eighth and the momentum swung toward them, we were able to answer right back with two runs," Chad Epperson said. "We really had some timely hitting."
Travis Beazley (1-0) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and three walks, fanning two over four frames in relief to pick up the win. Jason Blackey hurled a perfect ninth to earn his first save of the postseason.
Eric Sogard and Sam Carter plated two runs apiece for the Storm while James Darnell, who batted .556 in the playoffs, went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
Storm reliever Brandon Gomes (0-1) surrendered two runs on two hits, striking out two without a walk in one inning for the loss.
Lancaster, which drew a bye in the opening round, trailed in the series, 2-1, before rallying its way to the Finals in the best-of-5 series. It'll be the JetHawks' second appearance in their history.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.