Cal League Baseball: Lancaster Walk off Storm on Jones’s Blast

JetHawks  Rally for Three runs in Ninth to beat Lake Elsinore, 5-4

By Marshall Kelner

LANCASTER, Calif. – Mylz Jones hit a walk-off home run to cap a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning and the JetHawks came back to beat the Lake Elsinore Storm, 5-4, on Saturday night at The Hangar.

It was the second walk-off homer of the season for the JetHawks and their first victory when trailing after eight innings. They have won five straight overall, their longest winning streak of the second half, and are a season high 13 games over .500 (66-53).

The Storm scored twice in the top of the ninth inning to take a 4-2 lead. In the home half, Yonathan Daza led off with a walk. On the first pitch he saw, Sam Hilliard launched a two-run home run to right-center field to tie the game.

After back-to-back strikeouts, the stage was set for Jones. He took a strike and then deposited the next pitch over the left-field wall. It was the ninth home run of the season for the Palmdale-native. All nine have come at home.

Mike Clary Photo

 The contest featured a great pitcher’s duel between left-handers Ty Culbreth of the JetHawks and Palmdale-native Jerry Keel. Each went six innings and allowed two runs. Culbreth struck out six, Keel fanned five.

The JetHawks surged in front in the opening frame. Garrett Hampson led off with a double and scored on Yonathan Daza’s RBI triple that bounced over the third base bag. Hilliard brought home Daza with a grounder to short.

Lake Elsinore tied the game in the third. Edwin Moreno hit Culbreth’s first pitch of the inning out for his 10th home run. The Storm added an unearned run later in the frame.

It remained 2-2 until the ninth. Max Schuh relieved Culbreth and was dominant. The left-hander retired all six batters he faced, striking out the final five. Marc Magliaro (3-2) allowed the two runs in the ninth to Lake Elsinore, but picked up the win. Trevor Frank (3-2) suffered the loss. After pitching a perfect eighth inning, he surrendered both home runs to the JetHawks in the ninth.

The three-game series concludes on Sunday night at The Hangar, as the JetHawks go for their second straight sweep. Right-hander Peter Lambert (9-8) will start for Lancaster. First pitch is 5:05 p.m.

Pres Release & Photos Provided by the Lancaster JetHawks