LANCASTER, Calif. - The JetHawks fell to the Inland Empire 66ers, 9-5, to drop out of contention for the second half title on Sunday night at The Hangar. With the win, the 66ers clinched at least a share of the title and a playoff spot.
Kent Emanuel (9-5) struggled in his final regular season start. The left-hander took the loss and allowed six runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched.
The 66ers (61-78) got on the board quickly in the first inning. Sherman Johnson singled and scored on Chad Hinshaw's first of two triples in the game. Angel Rosa's RBI single put Inland Empire up 2-0.
With the score 4-0 in the third inning the JetHawks (78-61) scored for the first time. Rio Ruiz grounded a ball to first base with the bases loaded and two outs and Dennis Raben's feed to the pitcher covering was too high and sailed into foul territory. Two unearned runs scored on the play.
Inland Empire got one of the runs back in the top of the fourth on Hinshaw's second RBI triple.
In the bottom of the fourth Ronnie Mitchell led off with a solo home run, Jobduan Morales doubled and Danry Vasquez singled him home to make it a one-run game.
Inland Empire built the lead to 7-4 before Brett Phillips hit a solo shot to lead off the seventh.
The 66ers scored two unearned runs in the eighth inning to increase their lead to the eventual final score, 9-5.
Chris O'Grady (4-4) tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.
The JetHawks take on the 66ers in the regular season finale on Monday at 5p.m. at The Hangar. Vince Velasquez will start for the JetHawks on Fan Appreciation Night.
Don't miss a moment of exciting JetHawks action at The Hangar in 2014. Playoff tickets and other great ticket packages are on sale now. To order, call (661) 726-5400 or visit jethawks.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.