LAKE ELSINORE, CA - Thirteen turned out to be a lucky number after all. The JetHawks, 0-for-12 in their first 12 games in Lake Elsinore this season, finally picked up a win in one of the most dramatic endings of the season.
After escaping a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the bottom of the ninth, Lancaster scored three runs in the top of the 10th to lead them to a 3-0 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm at The Diamond on Wednesday night.
The two teams took a scoreless tie into the bottom of the ninth and reliever Jose Trinidad came out for his second inning of work. Chris Bisson led off with a single and Rico Noel walked to start the inning. Donovan Tate followed by laying a bunt down the third base line. Trinidad fielded the ball and hesitated slightly before throwing a tad late to third base.
The Storm had loaded the bases with nobody out and the three, four and five hitters were due up. In the 12 games played at The Diamond this season, the JetHawks had suffered five walk-off losses.
Trinidad went to a full count against Justin Miller before getting him to swing and miss for the inning's first out. Rodney Linares approached the mound and brought in Andrew Robinson. The right-hander proceeded to strikeout Tommy Medica and Michael Wing to strand the runners on base and push the scoreless game to the top of the 10th.
Lancaster wasted no time in starting a rally. Jonathan Meyer led off with a double to right field, the first extra base hit for either team in the series. Enrique Hernandez followed with a single to put runners on first and third. After a Carlos Perez strikeout, Alex Todd lined a Ryan Quigley (3-5) fastball over Noel's head in centerfield. The ball rolled all the way to the wall allowing both runners to score and Todd reach third with a triple. He would score on a Grant Hogue sacrifice fly.
Robinson (2-2) came back out in the bottom of the tenth and struck out the side to leave Everett Williams, who had tripled with one out, on third to finish the win for the JetHawks.
The JetHawks struck out season-high 18 times in the game and the Storm had five runners thrown out at second base. Four were thrown out by catcher Carlos Perez who threw out three potential base stealers and back-picked Eddy Rodriguez in the sixth inning when the Storm had put runners at first and second with nobody out.
Both starters had terrific outings. David Martinez tossed seven scoreless innings without allowing a walk and Burch Smith struck out 10 while allowing just three hits in five innings.
The JetHawks (18-14, 55-47) can take the series with a rubber game win over the Storm (20-13, 56-47) on Thursday night at 7:05 pm in Lake Elsinore. Ruben Alaniz (6-2, 4.95) will start against Mark Pope (6-6, 4.48).
Great JetHawks ticket packages and single game tickets are on sale now. Special group discounts are also available. For more information please visit www.jethawks.com or call the JetHawks box office at (661) 726-5400.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.