LANCASTER – The Lancaster JetHawks stole Tuesday night’s game in every way possible.
The JetHawks, in front of a sold-out crowd, gave up four straight runs to start the game, and trailed by five in the top of the second. It was the second night in a row the JetHawks trailed by five runs in a game.
But Lancaster overcame the early deficit and beat the Lake Elsinore Storm 10-9 on a Fourth of July Fireworks Night at The Hangar. It was the fourth game this season the JetHawks won when trailing by at least five runs.
“It was a good game because obviously we got down big early in the game,” JetHawks manager Freddy Ocasio said. “The guys, they never gave up. They battled, and we were able to get a win.”
JetHawks left fielder Wes Rogers went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored, while third baseman and Palmdale native Mylz Jones hit 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Lancaster used seven stolen bases — four of which resulted in runs — to complete the comeback. Rogers stole two consecutive bases in the bottom of the second, giving him a California League-leading 44 on the season.
“It’s been our game plan all year,” Jones said of the team stealing bases. “Any opportunities to steal bases, we’re gonna take the advantage and try to do it. It doesn’t matter if we’re down or if we’re up. Our goal is to get as many bags as possible.”
Shortstop Wilson Soriano stole two bases in the bottom of the fourth inning, and second baseman Garrett Hampson stole a base in the first and fourth innings. Jones stole home in the bottom of the fourth.
It took four innings for the JetHawks to catch some momentum. After giving up four runs to start the game and trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the second, Lancaster scored two runs on consecutive RBIs to cut Lake Elsinore’s lead to 6-3 heading to the third inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rogers hit a leadoff triple, and Jones drove him in with his first of two doubles. Jones stole home and Soriano scored on center fielder Yonathan Daza’s sacrifice fly to cut Lancaster’s deficit to just one run.
JetHawks first baseman Roberto Ramos tied the game at 7 on a wild pitch by Storm pitcher Jacob Nix in the bottom of the fifth. Rogers hit a sacrifice fly out to center field and drove in designated hitter Hamlet Marte, giving the JetHawks an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
But the Storm tied the game on a JetHawks throwing error, and took a 9-8 lead in the top of the seventh when first baseman Kyle Overstreet hit an RBI single.
Marte hit to deep center field with one out in the bottom of the seventh. The ball hit the wall and rolled toward shallow center, which allowed him to reach third. Rogers doubled to left-center field, driving in Marte and tying things up at 9.
Jones came up and hit an RBI single, giving the JetHawks a 10-9 lead in the bottom of the seventh.
The JetHawks sported special America-themed uniforms for the Fourth of July. They donned the nation’s colors and some lyrics from the Star-Spangled Banner.
Rogers wore high socks during the game, also themed after Independence Day. He said before the game that it “means the world” to play on July 4.
“It’s just a good day to try to really appreciate and remember it’s not just about you,” Rogers said. “It’s for your country.”
Marte, who is from the Dominican Republic, said Independence Day holds a special significance to him.
“I’m so thankful to the United States,” Marte said. “They opened the door for me to come to this country and play this beautiful game. What better way to play (than) on the Independence Day for the people that gave me so much.”
Rogers said he was “super psyched” to wear the special jerseys.
“It’s never cool to lose in cool jerseys,” Rogers said before the team went out and won.
JetHawks: P Brandon Gold made his California League debut and pitched five innings, struck out two batters and allowed seven earned runs. Lancaster added Gold on July 1 from Low-A Asheville in the South Atlantic League.
66ers: Scored at least one run in each of the first three innings. … CF Michael Gettys left the game after colliding with Ramos on a play where Gettys tried to reach first as Ramos attempted to tag him.
JetHawks host Lake Elsinore today for Game 2 of the three-game series.