LANCASTER – Max George doubled in Willie Abreu in the bottom of the ninth as the JetHawks won, 4-3, in walk-off fashion Tuesday night against Visalia. It marked the first walk-off win for Lancaster in 2018.
Visalia (22-17) scored twice in the eighth to tie the game, 3-3, but the JetHawks managed to respond. In the ninth, Willie Abreu and Manny Melendez singled off of Junior Garcia (0-1) to put the winning run in scoring position. Max George followed with a double off the wall in right-center to win it for the JetHawks.
It’s the first walk-off for the JetHawks this season, but the sixth time the team has won in its final at-bat. Lancaster (19-20) is now a game below .500 through 39 games.
Juan Pena (2-0) got four outs in relief to pick up the win. Starter Brandon Gold did not factor in the decision despite allowing just a run over seven innings. The righty was perfect through four before allowing a pair of singles in the fifth.
The JetHawks jumped in front in the second inning. Vince Fernandez mashed a solo home run to center field to get Lancaster on the board. The JetHawks added a run in the fourth on an RBI double from Willie Abreu, who had three hits in the win.
After the Rawhide scored in the top of the fifth, Lancaster answered in the home half of the inning. Forrest Wall turned on a pitch and hit his second home run of the year. The JetHawks were up, 3-1, until Visalia plated a pair in the eighth.
With the win and Inland Empire’s loss in Lake Elsinore, the JetHawks are all alone atop the South Division. Lancaster is a game up on the 66ers.
Here’s the box score.
Lancaster is now 12-10 against the North Division, which has three teams with winning records. The JetHawks have won just 7 of 17 against divisional foes.
The three-game set continues Wednesday night. Rico Garcia (4-3) goes for his fifth with of the season against Riley Smith (2-2). First pitch from The Hangar is at 6:35 pm.