LANCASTER, Calif. - Vince Fernandez put the exclamation point on a four-run ninth inning Friday night, hitting a two-run walk-off home run to give Lancaster a comeback win, 9-8, over Lake Elsinore at The Hangar. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak and put the JetHawks atop the wild card
LANCASTER, Calif. - Vince Fernandez put the exclamation point on a four-run ninth inning Friday night, hitting a two-run walk-off home run to give Lancaster a comeback win, 9-8, over Lake Elsinore at The Hangar. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak and put the JetHawks atop the wild card standings.
Lancaster (33-27, 66-64) trailed, 8-5, going into the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Nevin worked a leadoff walk and Bret Boswell followed with a single. A wild pitch moved both men into scoring position, and Luis Castro made it a one-run game with a two-run single.
Dauris Valdez was removed without getting an out, but Caleb Boushley fared no better. Vince Fernandez smashed the second pitch of the at-bat over the right-field fence to win it for Lancaster.
Boushley (0-1) threw two pitches in a losing effort. Juan Pena (4-0) struck out two in a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the victory.
The walk-off was Lancaster's sixth of the season, and the team's third in the month of August. It was the 23rd home run of the season for Fernandez, giving him a share of the league-lead.
The JetHawks scored three in the second inning and added another in the third to go in front, 4-0. Lake Elsinore (28-32, 62-68) answered by scoring the next eight runs of the game. The Storm took the lead with five runs in the top of the sixth.
Lancaster scored a run on a walk in the seventh inning, but also left the bases loaded for a second-straight inning. The offense was set down in order in the eighth before coming back with four runs in the ninth.
Inland Empire fell to Rancho Cucamonga, putting Lancaster back atop the wild card standings. The JetHawks are one game ahead of the 66ers with 10 games left to play.
The JetHawks will try to carry the momentum into Saturday. Game two of the series features a pair of left-handed starters, with Ty Culbreth (5-7) going against Lake Elsinore's Nick Margevicius (4-3). First pitch from The Hangar is at 6:05 pm.