JetHawks continue Cal South dominance

Clinch second straight first-half title when Storm lose to Mavs

(Ken Weisenberger)

By Alan Friedman / Special to | June 13, 2008 11:00 PM ET

After 68 games, the Lancaster JetHawks had to wait just a little longer before continuing their dominance of the California League South Division.

Lancaster got a solid start from Blake Maxwell in a 4-1 victory over the Visalia Oaks on Friday, then wrapped up its second straight South Division first-half title when the Lake Elsinore Storm were beaten by the High Desert Mavericks.

Making his second start of the season, Maxwell (2-2) scattered five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over five scoreless frames. While the win was his first since April 28, the 23-year-old right-hander has yielded just one run over 27 2/3 innings in his last 10 appearances.

Jason Blackey pitched the next three innings and gave up one run on three hits with three strikeouts before T.J. Large tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save.

The JetHawks (35-33) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second. Daniel Nava doubled, took third on a base hit by Chih-Hsien Chiang and scored on Argenis Diaz's sacrifice fly. Aaron Reza singled and Jason Place plated Chiang with a groundout.

Lancaster tacked on a run in the fifth on Lars Anderson's RBI double and made it 4-0 on Reza's run-scoring single in the sixth.

Jorge Jimenez chipped in three hits for the JetHawks, who captured the division in both halves last season before falling to the Storm in the second round of the playoffs. This time around, Lancaster went 16-6 after May 21 to race past Lake Elsinore and claim its fourth postseason berth in five years.

Former first-round pick Wes Roemer (3-6) lost for the sixth time in his last seven decisions for the Oaks (33-35). He was charged with four runs on 10 hits and a walk with three strikeouts over six innings.

Alan Friedman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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