LANCASTER – The Lancaster JetHawks came back from down two twice late Tuesday in a walk-off win over the Inland Empire 66ers, 6-5, in 10 innings at The Hangar in front of 5,021.
Manny Melendez played a role in both rallies, finishing the game with a two-run single in the tenth.
Lancaster (27-17, 61-54) was down, 3-1, with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth inning. Joel Diaz kept the game going with a single, and Manny Melendez made it a one-run game with a triple. He would score on a Carlos Herrera single to tie the game.
Inland Empire (26-19, 59-55) got a two-out, two-run double from Julian Leon in the top of the tenth inning. Ben Bowden (4-2) followed by striking out Jonah Todd to turn things back to the offense.
Trailing, 5-3, the JetHawks got one run back on a Bret Boswell sacrifice fly. Mike Kaelin (0-2) then walked two consecutive hitters to load the bases. The 66ers brought in Jorge Tavarez for what turned out to be one pitch. Manny Melendez ripped a two-run single to right field to win it for the JetHawks.
Melendez now has the game-winning hit in three-straight games, all one-run victories for the JetHawks. His tenth-inning single was his second walk-off hit of the season. It was the fourth such win for Lancaster as a team, and their first since the All-Star Break.
Lancaster did not lead until the very end of Tuesday’s game. The JetHawks were held to just two hits in the first six innings. Inland Empire scored twice in the second inning and David MacKinnon homered in the sixth. Starter Brandon Gold allowed just three runs in seven innings, but did not factor in the decision.
The win was big for the JetHawks, as they now the 66ers by two games in the standings. Lancaster has won four in a row to start the homestand, and Inland Empire saw a four-game winning streak come to an end.
Here’s the box score.
The series continues Wednesday night. Lefty Ty Culbreth (5-6) gets the nod against Inland Empire’s Matt Ball (4-1). First pitch is 6:35 pm at The Hangar.