Lancaster, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers set a season-high with four homers at the Hangar on Sunday but fell to the Lancaster JetHawks 8-7. Zach Houchins hit two of the 66ers' dingers but Inland Empire's offense struck out 15 times in the loss.
The Sixers got on the board in the second when Taylor Ward sizzled a liner out to left for a 1-0 lead and his tenth homer of the year. It was his second homer in as many days. The JetHawks (77-62, 42-27) answered back immediately against Sixers' starter Justin Anderson (8-12) as they scored five runs on five hits including a three-run homer by Aaron Mizell. Houchins RBI single in the third made it 5-2 for the Sixers and Hutton Moyer's solo shot, his 14th homer of the year, in the fifth made it 5-3 but Lancaster struck back right away in the bottom of the fifth. Four straight hits to chased Anderson and ran the score to 8-3.
Reliever Zach Hartman kept Inland Empire (47-92, 24-45) in the game out of the pen. The righty tossed three innings one-hit, shutout ball not allowing a walk and fanning five batters. Inland Empire made it interesting with two runs in the seventh when Houchins smashed the first of his long-balls. The two-run shot to center off Alex Winkelman (1-5) were the only runs Winkleman allowed in 3.1 IP with eighth Ks.
The Sixers got two more with one out in the ninth when Angelo Amendolare singled against Juan Santos and Houchins struck again. He drilled a two-run shot off the scoreboard, his 18th of the year, to make it 8-7. Santos settled down however to earn his first Cal League save with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
The 66ers' season concludes tomorrow at 2:05 pm. The contest can be heard live at 66ers.com.