LANCASTER, Calif. -- On a night where weather conditions led people to predict a slugfest, the pitchers struck back at the Hangar. Three Lancaster hurlers combined for a team record-breaking 18 strikeouts Tuesday night as the JetHawks defeated the Inland Empire 66ers 3-2.
The tone was set in the very first inning by Lancaster starter Shane Wolf. Rather than show any intimidation in the face of tough conditions, Wolf retired the side in order in the opening frame, striking out two batters. Inland Empire pushed across one run in the second and third innings, but Wolf settled into a rhythm for his final innings, getting the last eight batters he saw. Wolf set a career-high with nine strikeouts, but left trailing 2-0.
With the pitching holding firm, the offense did its job in the sixth inning. Craig Corrado opened the frame with a single and scored two outs later on a base hit by Chris Minaker. After a pitching change, Brian Pellegrini blasted the first pitch he saw over the center field wall for a two-run homer, putting Lancaster ahead by a run.
Chia-Jen Lo was dominant in relief. The Taiwanese sensation struck out seven batters in three innings to earn the win, allowing just one hit. Bryan Hallberg entered in the ninth and put the potential tying run aboard before getting the record-breaking strikeout to end the game. Fittingly, it was former JetHawks infielder Christian Lara who fanned for the final out.
The previous record for most strikeouts in a game was set Aug. 8, 1997, when Lancaster pitchers combined to strike out 17 Visalia Oaks hitters.
The JetHawks will try to win the series against Inland Empire Wednesday night. It will be the first Winning Wednesday, with fans getting opportunities to win great prizes from JetHawks sponsors. Jose Duran (0-1) will start for Lancaster against Inland Empire's Kendy Batista (0-0). The first pitch will be at 7 p.m.
The first JetHawks Clubhouse Show of the season will broadcast live from 5-6 p.m. on Magic 1340 AM and at JetHawks.com online. Special guests will include JetHawks manager Wes Clements. Listeners will have a chance to play JetHawks trivia to win a Friday Four-Pack of tickets. The game broadcast will start with the pre-game show at 7:00 p.m.
Great ticket packages, including season tickets and flexible mini-plans, are on sale now for the 2009 season, and may be ordered by calling (661) 726-5400. For more information, please visit the JetHawks official Web site www.JetHawks.com online.