LANCASTER, Calif. - As has been the case many times in 2019, Luis Castro led the way for the JetHawks as they took down the Inland Empire 66ers, 12-2, Wednesday night at The Hangar. Castro hit a pair of home runs and drove in five as the JetHawks kept their playoff hopes alive.
It did not take long for Castro to make his presence felt. In the first inning, Castro drove in two runs with a triple off the wall in right field. He later scored on Taylor Snyder's sacrifice fly.
The JetHawks (33-32, 67-66) added two more in the third inning before Castro struck again. The California League's Co-MVP hit a two-run blast off Cristopher Molina (2-5) in the fourth inning and the JetHawks led, 7-0.
Inland Empire (27-38, 53-81) did not score until the sixth inning. Lucas Gilbreath (5-10) allowed just two runs in seven innings to earn the win. Wednesday was the second-straight night the JetHawks got a start of seven innings.
The JetHawks led comfortably thanks to two unearned runs in the seventh, but Luis Castro wasn't done. He led off the eighth inning with his second home run of the night. Castro has four multi-homer games this season. He now leads the league in both home runs (24) and RBIs (92).
Joel Diaz added a two-run double in the eighth inning for good measure. Diaz was one of three JetHawks with three hits in the contest. Diaz has multiple hits in six-straight games.
With Lake Elsinore's loss in Rancho Cucamonga, the JetHawks are within three games of the Storm for the final playoff spot in the South Division. After Thursday, the JetHawks play a four-game series in Lake Elsinore to close out the regular season.
Before that big series, the JetHawks play one final home game as they go for a series victory over Inland Empire Thursday night. Righty Will Gaddis (10-7) goes for his 11th win against Inland Empire's Cooper Criswell (4-8). First pitch is 6:35 pm at The Hangar.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.