The Astros Advanced-A Lancaster JetHawks dominated the deciding game in the California League’s South Division mini-series, guaranteeing a chance at the Division crown.
Astros prospect Jason Martin had a huge night at the plate on September 9, as Lancaster pummeled Rancho Cucamonga 21-6. The win gave the JetHawks the series and a berth in the Division final beginning September 10, against first half winner High Desert Mavericks, a Texas Rangers farm team.
Martin, the Astros #29 prospect, slugged two home runs and drove in seven runs, as Lancaster rolled over the Mavericks with five home runs and 20 hits. Rancho managed six runs on nine hits, but were never really in the game as the JetHawks offensive barrage buried them. Akeem Bostick threw 6.2 innings as the JetHawks starter and gave up four runs, but his teammates provided the firepower to put Lancaster ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Relievers Ralph Garza and Juan Santos handled the final 2.1 innings, allowing only two runs on two hits and two walks to preserve the game and series wins.
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Bryan Muniz, 1B, had four hits, including a double, a home run, and three RBI. Shortstop Osvaldo Duarte, hitting from the ninth spot in the batting order, also knocked out three hits, with a home run and three RBI. Leadoff hitter Johnny Sewald had another good game with three hits, a double, triple, and two RBI, bringing his series average to a team leading .500 (tied with catcher Jamie Ritchie). Astros #2 prospect Kyle Tucker also hit a home run and a double. Every JetHawks starter had at least one hit and scored at least one run in the rout.
The hot hitting JetHawks enter the September 10th game on a roll.
Lancaster has collected 38 runs, 39 hits, and 12 home runs in the past two games. Lancaster pitchers have also allowed 35 hits and 21 runs in the three game series with Rancho Cucamonga, however, the hitters had them covered, sending the JetHawks on to the next round.
Lancaster is now the only Astros minor league team in the playoffs as they take on South Division first half winner High Desert. The best three of five series opens September 10th, at Mavericks Stadium in Adelanto, California.
**Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference and MLB.com**