MODESTO, CA - Jonathan Meyer drove in three runs and David Martinez went six solid innings as the JetHawks went into John Thurman Field and took Game 1 of the Cal League Championship Series from the Modesto Nuts, 7-4.
After falling behind 1-0 after two innings, Lancaster scored four times in the third to take the lead for good. Rafael Valenzuela started the inning with a double off the leg of pitcher Kennil Gomez (0-1). After a Delino DeShields Jr. bunt single, Jiovanni Mier doubled down the leftfield line to drive in both runs and put the JetHawks ahead.
Jonathan Meyer and Domingo Santana added RBI-singles later in the inning to chase Gomez from the game. Modesto's starter lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits.
Santana factored into the game defensively in the bottom of the inning. The Nuts put up two runs on a Delta Cleary Jr. triple with nobody out. After Martinez (2-0) struck out Rafael Ortega for the first out, Jared Clark hit a fly ball to right field that appeared to be deep enough to get the run home.
Cleary broke for home as Santana caught the ball and fired to the plate. His throw reached catcher Carlos Perez on the fly and Perez applied the tag in time for the out to end the inning. The throw kept Lancaster ahead, 4-3.
Lancaster extended its lead in the fifth inning against reliever Nick Schnaitmann. Mier started the inning with a single and Andrew Aplin walked to put two on with no outs. Meyer drove in two runs later in the inning with a double to leftfield to put the JetHawks ahead, 6-3. With his three RBI's, Meyer is tied for the Cal League lead with 10 postseason RBI's.
Tim Smalling gave the Nuts another run off Martinez with an RBI-single in the sixth. Smalling has also driven in 10 runs during the playoffs. Martinez's night ended after the sixth inning. He allowed four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
The JetHawks' bullpen held on to get Martinez the win. Jose Trinidad tossed 1 1/3 perfect innings and Kenny Long came in to finish the eighth inning, striking out Dallas Tarleton with a runner in scoring position to send the game to the ninth.
Lancaster scored an unearned run in the ninth when Smalling threw a ball wide at first base trying to turn a double play allowing DeShields to score from third.
Andrew Robinson set the Nuts down in order in the ninth to pick up his first save of the playoffs and end the game.
Mier finished with three hits, two runs and a pair of RBI's and Santana also tallied three hits with two runs and an RBI.
Game 2 is set for Friday night at 7:05 pm in Modesto. Blair Walters will start against Juan Gonzalez.
The Best of 5 series will head to The Hangar for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) beginning on Saturday. Saturday and Monday night's games will start at 7:00 pm and Sunday will begin at 5:00 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.