The JetHawks rallied for three runs to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Jordan Cowan hit a three-run homer in the 11th to lift the Modesto Nuts to an 8-5 victory in Game 2 of the California League Championship Series. Modesto now leads the best-of-five series, 2-0.
Cowan’s homer, off JetHawks reliever Marc Magliaro, came with two out in the 11th. Magliaro issued walks to the first two batters of the inning. It was Cowan’s second home run during the playoffs, after he hit just two during the regular season.
With the JetHawks down 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Sam Hilliard led off with an infield single. Wes Rogers followed with a single to right. Mylz Jones then came up with an RBI single to right. Hamlet Marte advanced the runners with a bunt and reached on an error.
Avery Romero was called on to pinch hit and came through with a game-tying two-run double over the head of center fielder Kyle Lewis. The JetHawks then had runners at second and third with nobody out, but failed to push across the winning run and the game went to extra innings.
The JetHawks had a good chance to win the game in the bottom of the 10th. Hilliard led off with a walk and Rogers advanced him to second with a bunt. With two out, Hamlet Marte hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop Donnie Walton dove and knocked the ball down into shallow center. Hilliard tried to score, but Walton made a perfect throw to the plate to get him.
Garrett Hampson opened the scoring with a leadoff home run for the JetHawks in the bottom of the first. In the top of the third, Hampson dropped a pop fly at short off the bat of Cowan. Eric Filia followed with a two-run homer, the first of two home runs for him in the game.
Marte tied the game with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the third. It remained 2-2 until sixth, when the Nuts scored three runs. Filia led off with his second long ball of the night. Joe DeCarlo and Arturo Nieto later delivered RBI singles.
Joe Pistorese (1-0) earned the win in relief for Modesto. Bryan Bonnell earned the save with a perfect bottom of the 11th inning. Magliaro (0-1) suffered the loss for the JetHawks.
Brandon Gold started for Lancaster and allowed five runs (three earned) in 5.2 innings. Helmis Rodriguez followed with 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Spencer Herrmann started for Modesto and allowed two runs on two hits (the two solo homers) in five innings.
The best-of-five California League Championship Series shifts to Modesto and John Thurman Field for Game 3 on Friday night. Right-hander Jesus Tinoco (0-1) will start for Lancaster. Right-hander Robert Dugger (0-0). First pitch is 7:05 p.m.