LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - The JetHawks put up four runs in the ninth inning to get within one run of the Lake Elsinore Storm but a Chris Epps hard groundout to shortstop ended the game and thwarted Lancaster's chance at a sweep.
The Storm salvaged the final game of the three game series with a 9-8 win on Thursday night at The Diamond.
With two on and two outs in the ninth, Andrew Aplin drew a walk to extend the inning and load the bases for Matt Duffy. Duffy, who was 0-for-3 coming into the at-bat, needed a hit to extend his 11-game hitting streak.
He singled to left field off Joe Church to score one run and push his streak to a season-high 12 games.
Preston Tucker followed with a single off Storm closer Johnny Barbato to score two more runs. Telvin Nash's hard ground ball to third was misplayed for an error to bring the JetHawks within one but Epps grounded out to leave the tying run in scoring position. Barbato picked up his second save.
The JetHawks had comeback to tie the game in seventh inning. Down by three runs, Nolan Fontana hit a two-run double and came home on an Aplin double with two outs in the seventh inning to tie the game, 4-4.
Luis Cruz (1-1), who had pitched a perfect sixth inning in his first inning of work, came out for the seventh and allowed the first seven batters to reach base. The Storm put up five runs on seven hits to break the game open.
The Storm had scored four runs on six hits in the fourth inning to chase JetHawks starter Aaron West.
Nash hit his first home run of the season in the second inning to get the JetHawks on the board.
Fontana finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk and finished the series 8-for-11 with five walks.
Tyler Heineman put together a big night in his first game back off the disabled list. The catcher went 4-for-4 with a double.
Lancaster (13-7) remains in first place and returns home to take on the second-place Inland Empire 66ers in the first of a three game series on Friday night at The Hangar. Blair Walters will start and Mike Foltynewicz will follow him. First pitch is 7:00 pm for Awful Sweater Night.
Don't miss a moment of the 2013 season as the JetHawks look to repeat as California League Champions. Season tickets and great ticket packages are available now. To order, call (661) 726-5400 or visit jethawks.com.