Delino DeShields and the JetHawks moved one step closer to history Tuesday.
The Astros' No. 5 prospect collected two hits and scored three times as Class A Advanced Lancaster rallied past High Desert, 9-6, to clinch a trip to the California League Finals.
Trailing entering the bottom of the eighth inning, 8-5, the JetHawks scored four times to reclaim the lead. Carlos Perez tied the game with an RBI single and Rafael Valenzuela doubled home Perez to give the club the lead.
"[Valenzuela] was saying all night we're going to get their best guy, and that was their closer [Carson Smith]," DeShields said. "We attacked him, we got to him real quick. He was confident going in there that he was going to hit him. It was one of those games where we had the momentum and I was like, 'He's about to come through, something good is about to happen right now.' It was a good all-around team effort."
After DeShields singled, Jio Mier followed with a single to right field with the runners in motion that enabled DeShields to score from first base.
"We got the signs mixed up, I thought it was a hit-and-run but it was a steal. But the guy hit the ball to right field and I scored all the way," the 20-year-old second baseman said. "That was an extra run that really helped us."
For the JetHawks, it marked their third trip to the Finals and their first since 2004, when they lost to Modesto in five games. In 17 seasons in the California League, Lancaster has yet to win a claim a title.
"It's real exciting," DeShields said. "When we first made the playoffs, we knew we had something special. We've really got a chance to win it all. Now we get the chance to bring the first championship back to Lancaster and that's special. Any championship is special. But bringing it to a team that has never won it, that's something real special."
DeShields also drew a base on balls and stole his second base of the playoffs. The Georgia native is tied for third in the league with six runs scored in the postseason.
Erik Castro had two hits and scored three runs for the JetHawks.
Jorge De Leon picked up his first win after tossing 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief.
Jack Marder, the Mariners' No. 14 prospect, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the Mavericks, who had the best record in the league during the regular season.
In other California League playoff action
Modesto 3, Bakersfield 2
Delta Cleary Jr. was 3-for-4 with two RBIs as the Nuts forced a Game 5 in their semifinal series. Timothy Smalling had three hits and scored a run while Juan Crousset scored twice for Modest. Dominick D'Anna singled home two runs to account for the Blaze's offense. Box score