San Bernardino, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino snapped a five-game losing streak with stellar pitching performances from the duo of Oliver Ortega and Nate Bertness as well as a big-night at the plate from 3B Jordan Zimmerman in a 9-1 win over the Lancaster JetHawks. Inland Empire (32-57, 6-14) avoided being swept out of six-game homestand with the win.
The contest was a pitcher's duel until late when Inland Empire blew the game open. Ortega was perfect through two frames, but Taylor Snyder tripled to open the third and came home on LJ Hatch's sac fly for a 1-0 lead. It was the only run that Ortega (3-4) allowed as he surrendered just two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over a season-best seven innings of work. The righty threw 81 pitches, 53 of those were strikes. Antonio Santos (3-5) was dominant for the JetHawks (46-42, 12-8); he was perfect through the first four frames. The 66ers tied the game in the fifth when Zimmerman doubled to open the inning. Later in the frame, advanced home on an error by LF Sean Bouchard to tie the game at 1-1. Zimmerman faced Santos to open the seventh and drilled a solo homer to left, his seventh, giving the Sixers a 2-1 lead. Inland Empire went on to score three more runs in the inning capped by a RBI single from Orlando Martinez for a 5-1 lead. The Sixers poured it on in the eighth with Zimmerman's RBI single, his third hit and second RBI of the game, as well as a two-run triple from DC Arendas and RBI single from Devin Davis for a 9-1 lead. Bertness tossed a perfect eighth for the Sixers and then allowed a leadoff single in the ninth but put the next three down, the last two via the strikeout. All and all, Ortega and Bertness allowed one run on three hits, one walk and struck out nine.
The 66ers open a three-game series at Visalia on Wednesday at 7:00 pm. The contest can be heard live at 66ers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.