LANCASTER, Calif. - Sam Hilliard blasted two home runs to lead the JetHawks to an 11-4 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers in the regular season finale on Monday afternoon at The Hangar.
Hilliard finished with 21 home runs, 92 RBI and a .300 batting average on the season. The JetHawks ended at 79-61, the best record in the California League.
The JetHawks struck first on a leadoff home run by Hilliard in the second. After the 66ers scored three times in the top of the third, Lancaster answered with three of their own in the bottom half to re-take a lead they would not relinquish. The final two came home on a two-run homer by Hilliard. Yonathan Daza added an RBI single. Daza won the batting title with a .341 average.
Daza made it 5-3 JetHawks with an RBI double in the fourth. Hamlet Marte led off the bottom of the seventh with his ninth home run of the season. The JetHawks scored three times in the eighth on three consecutive two-out RBI doubles by Wes Rogers, Mylz Jones, and Marte. Rogers stole his league-leading 70th base of the season earlier in the contest.
Max Schuh (2-5) earned the win for Lancaster in relief. The left-hander tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four. Brad Schreiber also threw two scoreless innings out of the JetHawks bullpen to close out the game.
The JetHawks out-hit Inland Empire 19-5 in the contest. Rogers and Marte each recorded three hits. Every starter had at least one hit.
The JetHawks open up the playoffs with Game 1 of the best-of-five South Division Finals against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Wednesday night at The Hangar. First pitch is 6:35 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.