Adelanto, CA -The Inland Empire 66ers (37-32) once again won a one run thriller over the High Desert Mavericks (33-36) Saturday night, this time by an 8-7 final score. But while Inland Empire was wining in Adelanto, the Lancaster JetHawks were winning their game in Lake Elsinore and in doing so eliminated the 66ers from contention for the first half crown.
Inland Empire entered the night needing to win its final two games of the first half and needing the JetHawks to lose their last two contests. The 66ers started the night with a blast from Eric Stamets, his first home run of the season, but the Mavericks were able to take a 4-2 lead into the 6th inning after a Ramon Morla homer.
The 66ers struck back in the 6th, matching their largest single inning scoring run of the season with a five run frame. Alex Yarbrough started things with a triple, and the team got RBI hits from Michael Snyder, Abel Baker and Zach Wright. When the dust settled the 66ers had a 7-4 lead going to the home half of the inning, but the Mavericks scratched out two runs in their end of the 6th and another during the 7th to tie the ballgame.
In the 9th inning Alex Yarbrough once again came through with a three base hit to drive in what ended up being the game winning run. He was stranded at third, but reliever Eduard Santos made the slim lead stand up. Santos struck out Mavs catcher David Villasuso to end the ballgame..
Despite the excitement of the 66ers seventh win out of their last eight games, Saturday night was bittersweet. Lancaster won a second straight game in Lake Elsinore to clinch the first half crown. Friday they needed a 9th inning rally to earn a come from behind 7-3 victory. Saturday they eased out to a 4-0 lead and won 5-1 for the clincher.
Inland Empire will attempt to end the first half of the season with a win in High Desert on Sunday before sending Zach Borenstein, Mark Sappington and Alex Yarbrough up to San Jose for the All Star game. Inland Empire does have 35 exciting home games remaining on the 2013 regular season. For more information on 66ers tickets or to schedule your next fun filled group outing, contact the 66ers front office at (909)888-9922.