Series evens after Game 2 defeat

Cain, offense struggle as Inland Empire heads home with win

Nolan Fontana whacked a three-run triple and scored to lead the JetHawks on Sunday. (James Schubert)

By Jason Schwartz / Lancaster JetHawks | September 8, 2013 7:54 PM ET

LANCASTER, Calif. - Colton Cain couldn't make it out of the third inning and the JetHawks offense faltered in a Game 2, 7-4, loss to the Inland Empire 66ers on Sunday night at The Hangar.

The 66ers evened the best-of-five series at a game apiece as the series shifts to San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino for Game 2 and 3.

Inland Empire jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Cain by the third inning. Zach Borenstein led off the second inning with an infield single and advanced to third on a Brian Hernandez base-hit and Chris Epps error to put runners at first and third. Abel Baker lifted a sac-fly to bring in Borenstein for an unearned run.

Cain started the third inning by walking Sherman Johnson and allowing a double to Eric Stamets to put runners at second and third with no outs. Alex Yarbrough hit a sac-fly for the team's second run before Inland Empire's big bats displayed some power.

Borenstein hit the first pitch of his second at-bat over the right field fence for his first postseason home run to make it 4-0 and Michael Snyder immediately followed with a solo home run to push Inland Empire's lead to five runs.

Cain (0-1) was removed and Mike Hauschild came on for the final out of the inning. Cain allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits in 2 2/3 innings with a strike and a walk. Hauschild would allow one run on two hits in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

The JetHawks rallied to get back in the game in the bottom of the third. Joe Sclafani and Chris Epps walked against starter Danny Reynolds to start the inning and Delino DeShields was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Inland Empire went to the bullpen and brought in Brandon Efferson who immediately allowed a bases-clearing triple to Nolan Fontana. Andrew Aplin scored Fontana with a sac-fly to make it 5-4 but the offense would not be heard from again.

Inland Empire added insurance runs in the fifth inning and in the ninth inning against Jordan Jankowski while Lancaster spoiled two opportunities to score. Epps led off the seventh inning with a triple but was left at third base and M.P. Cokinos led off the eighth with a single but again, the JetHawks failed to score.

Efferson (1-0) picked up the win after allowing only one run over 4 1/3 innings of relief. Eric Cendejas pitched the final two innings for his first save of the postseason.

Game 3 at San Manuel Stadium will be played Monday night at 7:05 p.m. The JetHawks will send Aaron West to the mound against 66ers right-hander Drew Rucinski.  

Don't miss a moment of the 2013 season as the JetHawks look to repeat as Cal League Champions. 2013 Cal League postseason tickets and other great ticket packages are on sale now. To order, call (661) 726-5400 or visit

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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