Brad Correll lifted a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning Saturday as the Lancaster JetHawks edged the Lake Elsinore Storm, 3-2, in Game 1 of the California League South Division Finals.
Steve Garrabrants and Zach Daeges stroked back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on the corners before Correll sent a fly ball to right field to give the JetHawks the opener of the best-of-5 series.
"I wasn't even trying to get a hit," Correll admitted. "[Storm reliever Wilton Lopez] left it a little bit over the plate."
"There was no question that [Garrabrants] was going to score," added Daeges. "It was a pretty crazy celebration."
Daeges also belted a solo homer in the third to give Lancaster a 2-0 lead.
"I was looking for a fastball over the plate and trying to put a good swing on it," said the 23-year-old left fielder, who led the California League with 170 hits, 113 RBIs, 124 runs scored and 55 doubles.
Reliever Chad Rhoades (1-0) picked up the win after yielding one hit in a scoreless 10th. Starter Kris Johnson carried a one-hitter into the seventh before allowing two runs on three hits and three walks with a strikeout over six-plus innings.
"You can't really ask much more out of your starter," Daeges said.
Sean Kazmar opened the seventh with a homer to center field and Mike Baxter lined an RBI single to knot the score for the Storm, who swept the JetHawks in the 2005 division finals.
"We just knew that we had to keep playing," Daeges said. "We didn't really score as many runs as we'd like to today."
Lancaster had runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, but reliever Brandon Higelin struck out Daeges before Ernesto Frieri came in to retire Correll.
"We knew we missed a few opportunities," Correll said. "This team, the way we swing the bats, we're definitely not lacking in any confidence."
The JetHawks shattered the Cal League record with 217 homers during the regular season. They also led the circuit in team batting average (.296), hits (1,493), RBIs (1,008), home runs (217) and runs (1,081).
Lopez (0-1) gave up a run on two hits while recording two outs in the 10th. Storm starter Nathan Culp surrendered two runs on five hits and a walk while fanning four over six frames.