April 8, 2008 - California League (CalL) - Lancaster JetHawks
(LANCASTER, CA) - The longest game in Lancaster JetHawks franchise history finally came to a close Tuesday night, some 18 innings five hours and 41 minutes after it began. And it closed in the way it could have ended in the ninth inning, with a Lancaster three-run win, as the JetHawks defeated Inland Empire 6-3. The teams then went on to play the regularly scheduled game with Lancaster losing a pitcher\'s duel 3-1.
The first game marked the conclusion of Monday night\'s contest, which had been suspended in a 3-3 tie after fifteen innings. The game stayed scoreless into the eighteenth, when Matt Sheely opened with a single. Daniel Nava then doubled and Chih-Hsien Chiang drove a single to score two. T.J. Large pitched the final three innings to earn his first win of the season.
It was a surreal contest for both teams, that ended with players out of position and both teams almost out of players on the bench. It even saw one player traded to the other team. JetHawks infielder Christian Lara was traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers and was assigned to Inland Empire, creating a situation in which a player started the game on one team and finished on another.
The second game featured very little offense. Lars Anderson homered to give the JetHawks a brief lead in the first inning, but the 66ers tied it in the bottom of the inning. Inland Empire struck for two more runs in the fifth inning, then held on for a 3-1 win.
Reid Engel had a big day for Lancaster. The JetHawks left-fielder had five hits and an RBI in the first game, then added a single in the second. He has hit safely in each of the six games thus far. Outside of the ninth inning of the first game in which the JetHawks gave up a 3-0 lead, the bullpen was outstanding. Between the two contests, Jaymie Russ, Blake Maxwell, Jason Blackey, Large, and Josh Papelbon pitched 15 1/3 shutout frames. Maxwell\'s five inning scoreless appearance was the longest of his career.
The road trip concludes Wednesday night at Inland Empire. Adam Mills will start for Lancaster against 66ers right-hander Tim Sexton. The game starts at 7:05. The first JetHawks Clubhouse Show of the season airs from 5-6 PM Wednesday evening. Guests include JetHawks manager Chad Epperson and Red Sox Minor League Pitching Coordinator Ralph Treuel.
The JetHawks home opener for the 2008 season at Clear Channel Stadium takes place on April 10 against the Lake Elsinore Storm. Tremendous ticket packages starting at only $56 are available for purchase now by calling 661.726.5400.