Lancaster, CA. - After giving up a three-run lead in the ninth, Jordan Cowan launched the game-winning three-run homer in the top of the eleventh to secure an 8-5 win against the Lancaster JetHawks on Wednesday night at The Hangar to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Championship Series.
The win puts the Nuts (5-0) one win from their first California League Championship since 2004.
The home run provided the offense early. Garrett Hampson and Hamlet Marte each lifted solo home runs in the first three innings for the JetHawks (3-3). Eric Filia gave the Nuts an early lead when he smashed a two-run homer in the third inning. After the JetHawks had tied it in the bottom of the third, Filia ripped his second home run of the night in the sixth to give the Nuts the lead. Joe DeCarlo and Arturo Nieto each added RBI singles in the three-run third.
The Nuts held that lead until the ninth inning with Matt Festa took the mound to try and nail down the save. Sam Hilliard started the ninth with an infield single before Wes Rogers sent a soft single into right. Mylz Jones drove in the first run of the ninth with a RBI single. Two batters later, pinch hitter Avery Romero drilled the game-tying two-run double. There were still no outs in the inning but Matt Festa stranded the bases loaded to send the game to extras.
Joe Pistorese (W, 1-0) worked the tenth inning for the Nuts and walked Sam Hilliard to start the frame. He moved to second with two outs and it took a terrific play by Donnie Walton to keep the game tied. Hamlet Marte smacked a sharp grounder up the middle. Walton laid out to slow the ball down as it rolled into shallow center. Hilliard tried to score and Walton threw him out at the dish to send the game to the eleventh.
In the eleventh, Marc Magliaro (L, 0-1) walked Joey Curletta and Joe Rizzo before Jordan Cowan ripped the game-winning three-run homer.
Bryan Bonnell (S, 1/1) retired the bottom of the eleventh in order to give the Nuts a chance at a sweep on Friday night.
Game three of the California League Championship Series is Friday night against the JetHawks at John Thurman Field. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Coverage on ModestoNuts.com will start at 6:40 p.m. Listen live online on your phone, tablet or PC by CLICKING HERE.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.