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Lancaster JetHawks drop game two of Cal League Championships in extras

The High-A affiliate of the Rockies are down 0-2 in the best of five series.

Garrett Hampson connects for a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first.
Jen Mac Ramos

The Lancaster JetHawks dropped game two of the California League Championship Series Wednesday night at the Hangar to the Modesto Nuts. In a game where it was Lancaster park factors extreme (19 mph winds at first pitch), five home runs were hit between the JetHawks and the Nuts, but the number of runs scored weren’t in Lancaster’s favor.

They started off with a leadoff home run from Garrett Hampson (no. 13 PuRP) to begin the home half of the game. The lead didn’t last, as the Nuts scored two in the top of the third, but the JetHawks were able to tie it in the bottom of the third on a Hamlet Marte solo home run. That would be all for runs being scored on the JetHawks’ side of things until the ninth.

Pitching fared better in this game than they did on Tuesday night, with an especially sharp Helmis Rodriguez for 3.1 innings to keep them in the game, but the offense didn’t come alive until the game was nearly over. The Nuts were set to try and close out the game with a 5-2 lead, but Lancaster had other plans. Sam Hilliard (no. 19 PuRP), Wes Rogers, and Mylz Jones all hit singles to start the inning, with Hilliard scoring on Jones’ single. Marte came up to the plate to bunt Rogers and Jones over, but an error at third had everyone safe with no one out. Pinch hitter Avery Romero came in in place of Wilson Soriano, and promptly doubled to score Rogers and Jones and tie the game. But with runners at second and third and still no one out, there was nothing doing. Hampson grounded out, Brendan Rodgers (no. 1 PuRP) was hit for the second time in the game, Yonathan Daza popped out, then Roberto Ramos flied out.

To extra innings they went and it seemed like they had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the 10th. Hilliard lead off the inning with a walk, and was bunted over to second by Rogers. With two out, Marte grounds one just past the infield and Hilliard headed for home. The Nuts’ shortstop Donnie Walton managed to pick the ball up quickly and threw Hilliard out at home with no problem.

Modesto eventually scored on a three-run home run in the top of the 11th, and the JetHawks were retired in order in the home half, securing an 8-5 win for the Nuts. Lancaster dropped game two of the series and it’s do-or-die as the series shifts to Modesto on Friday.

Top 30 PuRPs

★ ★ ★

High-A: Lancaster JetHawks 5, Modesto Nuts 8

Brendan Rodgers (no. 1 PuRP): 0-for-4

Garrett Hampson (no. 13 PuRP): 2-for-5, HR

Sam Hilliard (no. 26 PuRP): 2-for-4, 1 BB, R

Wes Rogers (HM PuRP): 1-for-4, R, 2B

Hamlet Marte: 2-for-3, HR

★ ★ ★

Friday Probables

High-A Lancaster: Jesus Tinoco (11-4, 4.67 ERA) @ Modesto (SEA), 8:05 pm MT