JETHAWKS FIND AN INCENTIVE PLAYOFF-HUNGRY LAKE ELSINORE BURIED BY TWO BIG INNINGS JETHAWKS 13, LAKE ELSINORE 6.
LANCASTER - Saturday night's game between the JetHawks and Lake Elsinore Storm pitted a team secure in its position against one in the thick of a playoff race.
The JetHawks already have a berth in the California League playoffs by virtue of their first-half divisional title.
But with just 15 games left on their regular-season schedule, the Storm, which entered Saturday night's action leading Rancho Cucamonga by 3 1/2 games in the wild-card race, needs to win virtually every night.
Lancaster pride turned out to be a more compelling motivational factor as a late surge helped power the JetHawks past Lake Elsinore 13-6 before 3,812 at Lancaster Municipal Stadium.
``That makes it a bigger game for us,'' JetHawks manager Mark Parent said of the significance of competing in a game with playoff implications, at least for his team's opponents.
``If we were out of the playoffs altogether, we would want to play just to keep them out of it.''
Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the JetHawks sent 11 batters to the plate and produced seven runs, all of which scored with two outs.
Antonio Perez's three-run triple highlighted the outburst, which saw the JetHawks send eight batters to the plate after two outs were recorded in the inning.
The JetHawks picked up where they left off in the seventh, as they batted around once again, scoring five runs, all of which crossed the plate before the first out of the inning was recorded.
Between the second out in the JetHawks' sixth and the first out in the bottom of the seventh, Lancaster sent 15 batters to the plate and made just one out.
During that stretch, the JetHawks scored 12 runs on nine hits while capitalizing on three walks and three errors.
The big-inning-minded JetHawks have already batted around 30 times this season and have scored six runs or more on 22 occasions.
Lake Elsinore led 2-1 in the fifth when Jeb Dougherty added to the lead with an RBI double, and then in the sixth Bill Mott hit a solo homer to give the Storm a 4-1 lead.
JetHawks starter Enmanuel Ulloa (9-4) scattered five hits in 6 2/3 innings, in which he struck out four batters and allowed three walks in securing the win.
Lake Elsinore's Frankie Rodriguez (2-4) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on five hits. He struck out eight and allowed five walks.
--Matchup: Right-hander Jeff Heaverlo (13-5) will pitch for the JetHawks when they visit Lake Elsinore tonight. The Storm will counter with left-hander Jeff Hundley (5-4, 3.00).