LAKE ELSINORE – Rico Garcia tossed seven scoreless innings to lead the Lancaster JetHawks to a 7-0 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.
Garcia (2-0) set a new career-high for innings pitched and struck out a season-high seven batters along the way. He allowed five this and two walks.
The right-hander found himself in early trouble, but pitched out of jams in the first and second innings before cruising the rest of the way. He allowed only two hits and needed just 53 pitches over his final five innings of work.
The JetHawks (6-5) gave him a three-run lead in the third inning. Max George started the frame with a double and scored on a Willie Abreu base-hit. Roberto Ramos later singled home Abreu before scoring on a Kelvin Melean error.
Storm (4-7) starter Ronald Bolaños (0-2) allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in 4.2 innings.
Lancaster scored four more runs, all with two outs, against the Storm bullpen in the eighth. Brian Serven hit a two-run home run, his first of the season, to give the JetHawks a 5-0 lead. George then reached base on a hit by pitch and scored on Forrest Wall’s third triple of the season. Abreu singled home Wall to put Lancaster ahead, 7-0.
Vince Fernandez went 0-for-5 in the game to end his season-opening hitting streak at nine games.
Justin Lawrence and Bryan Baker each threw scoreless innings out of the bullpen to complete Lancaster’s first shutout win of the season.
The JetHawks return home to host the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the first game of a three-game series on Monday. Matt Dennis (0-2) is scheduled to start against Andrew Sopko (1-1). First pitch is 6:35 p.m.