LANCASTER, CA - The JetHawks erased two High Desert Mavericks leads and finished on top, 9-6, to win Game 4 and advance to the California League Championship Series at The Hangar on Tuesday night.
Down 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the JetHawks rallied to score four runs. Erik Castro led off with a double and moved to second on a Jonathan Meyer bunt. The Mavs brought in closer Carson Smith (0-1) who got Chris Epps to line out to first for the second out. Then the flood gates opened.
Carlos Perez singled to left field to tie the game. Rafael Valenzuela doubled to drive in Perez and after Valenzuela moved to third on a wild pitch, he scored on a Delino DeShields Jr. infield single. To cap things off, Jio Mier singled to right field with DeShields going on the pitch and DeShields scored all the way from first base for the inning's final run.
Jorge De Leon (1-0) retired the Mavs in order in the ninth to notch the win and clinch the series win for Lancaster.
Mario Martinez had knocked a bases loaded single against Patrick Urckfitz to score in the top of the seventh to put the Mavs on top by a run.
Lancaster had to rally in the sixth inning to take their first lead. Castro got it started one again with a single to right field. Castro then stole second base on a missed hit and run and came in to score on an Epps single. Epps later scored on a Valenzuela single to put the JetHawks ahead by a run.
The Mavs scored three runs in the first inning to jump out to an early lead. Jack Marder doubled home James Jones and scored on a John Hicks hit. A Jiovanni Mier error led to another run.
DeShields led off with a walk in the bottom of the first and moved to third on an errant pick off throw. He scored on an Andrew Aplin single for the JetHawks first run.
Nick Tropeano tossed six innings and allowed four runs - three earned - and struck out six batters.
Both Castro and DeShields scored three runs. Valenzuela went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Mier drove in two runs as well.
The JetHawks will play in Game 1 of the Cal League Championship Series in either Bakersfield or Modesto. The Nuts and Blaze will play Game 5 of their North Division Finals Series on Wednesday night.
The finals appearance will be the third in franchise history and the first since 2008 when the team lost to Stockton. They lost to Modesto in the JetHawks' first finals appearance in 2004.
Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) will be played at The Hangar. Saturday night's Game 3 will start at 7:00 pm. Tickets for all three games are on sale now. For more information please contact the JetHawks box office at (661) 726-5400.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.