MODESTO – With the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth, JetHawks closer Salvador Justo coaxed Matt Sanders into a game-ending double play to preserve a 5-4 win on Friday night at John Thurman Field.
The win was Lancaster’s 20th in the club’s last 29 games and brought them within a game of first-place Rancho Cucamonga.
Modesto (16-19) put the tying run at second base with less than two outs in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Justo, who entered with two outs in the eighth inning, would strand the runners each time to earn his third save.
The JetHawks (20-15), who led 4-1 until Modesto tied it in the bottom of the seventh, regained the lead in the top of the eighth. Todd Czinege’s bases-loaded grounder to second base was able to score Ryan Vilade from third base.
Run-scoring doubles from Czinege and Brian Golden in the third and fourth innings helped the JetHawks to their early advantage.
Golden finished 2-for-3 to improve his batting average in Friday games to .563 (9-for-16) with four doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.
Starter Matt Dennis (pictured at top) left the game in line for a win after allowing just two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out and five and walked only one.
Here’s the box score.
The series continued on Saturday evening.