RANCHO CUCAMONGA – The Lancaster JetHawks had a no-hitter through seven innings Sunday, but needed to hold on to win, 3-2, over Rancho Cucamonga at LoanMart Field. David Hill did not allow a hit in his first professional outing since June of 2016.
Hill (1-0) last pitched June 26, 2016 with Asheville and missed all of last year due to injury. He hit the first batter he faced and walked the next, but then was perfect. He retired the next 15 batters in order, tying a career-best with eight strikeouts. He came out after throwing 66 pitches in five innings.
Heath Holder kept the no-hitter going through the seventh with two hitless frames behind Hill. But the no-hit bid and the shutout were both lost in the eighth. Lancaster’s three-run lead was trimmed to one, as Bryan Baker allowed a two-run home run to former JetHawk Hamlet Marte.
Justin Lawrence entered the game with two on and one out in the eighth inning. He allowed a single to load the bases, but struck out Jeren Kendall and Logan Landon to get out of the jam. He pitched a scoreless ninth to earn a five-out save.
Lancaster (27-30) took a lead for the first time in the series in the first inning. After an Alan Trejo single, Roberto Ramos mashed a two-run home run to right field. Ramos leads the Cal League with 14 long balls.
The JetHawks added another run in the fourth inning. Vince Fernandez led off the inning with a triple, and he came in to score on a Willie Abreu groundout to make it 3-0.
Andrew Sopko (3-4) pitched seven innings for Rancho Cucamonga (27-30), but the three runs he allowed were the difference. Rancho’s staff held Lancaster to five runs over three games in the series.
With the win, Lancaster moves back into a three-way tie for second place in the South Division. The JetHawks, Quakes and 66ers are all one-game back of Lake Elsinore in the standings.
After an off day Monday, the JetHawks and Quakes play again Tuesday. Matt Dennis (3-6) starts the opener of a three-game set at The Hangar against Rancho’s Dustin May (2-3). First pitch is at 6:35 pm.