LANCASTER, Calif. - The JetHawks allowed the Inland Empire 66ers to stay close on Saturday night and the visitors rallied for a 9-7 comeback victory in 10 innings at The Hangar.
With wins in the first two games of the four-game series, Inland Empire (60-78, 35-33) shrunk its magic number to win the second half South Division title to one game.
Lancaster (78-60, 34-34) took a 5-2 lead into the eighth inning before the 66ers scored three runs to tie the game. After a scoreless ninth, Inland Empire put up four in the 10th to take the lead for good.
Danry Vasquez hit a two-run double in the ninth inning with two outs but Jack Mayfield flew out to end the game. The JetHawks stranded a season-high 16 runners on base and finished 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Mark Shannon hit the go-ahead homer in the top of the 10th against Andrew Walter (0-2) who ended up allowing three runs on seven hits in the game. Sherman Johnson also added a two-run shot later in the inning against reliever Chris Cotton.
Roberto Peña hit a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning to give the JetHawks some insurance and put them up 5-2. Reliever Jamaine Cotton walked the leadoff man and allowed a hit that moved Chad Hinshaw to third. A wild pitch scored the first run of the inning. Cotton walked Cal Towey and was replaced by Walter. Zach Wright singled in a run before Anthony Bemboom tied it with a double.
Austin Adams (3-2) tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four to pick up the win in relief.
Chan Moon had broken a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with a two-run triple. Rio Ruiz followed with a run-scoring groundout to make it 4-1.
The lead seemed plenty for Kyle Westwood who allowed two runs (one earned) over 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight while walking only one.
The JetHawks will try to keep their second half title hopes alive on Sunday when they send Kent Emanuel to the mound to take on Trevor Foss and the 66ers. First pitch is 5 p.m. on Family in the Park Sunday at The Hangar. Fans are welcome on the field before the game to play catch and kids can runner the bases after the game.
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.