Coming into the final frame the JetHawks had, with the exception of 2b Jonathan Galvez’s opposite field home run in the seventh, shut down the Storm’s hitters holding them to only a pair of singles.
“The pitchers the last couple of weeks have done a good job of keeping us in the game,” said Storm Manager Phil Plantier.
“By doing that they have helped the offense have a chance later in the game.”
Down 2-1 to start the ninth center fielder Reymond Fuentes drew a walk. SS Jeudy Valdez, the hero of yesterday’s game with seven RBIs, was unable to sacrifice him but was able to execute a hit and run to give Lake Elsinore runners on the corners with no outs.
DH Mike Baxter, on a rehab assignment then just missed a three-run home run to dead center but it was far enough to bring home the runner from third and tie the game.
The JetHawks intentionally walked 1b Nate Freiman but Galvez popped up to the shortstop for the second out.
Payne drew a walk which set up Meeley’s big hit.
“In my mind I knew he was going to have to give me something to hit with the bases loaded.” Meeley said on his bases loaded double.
“In some ways it makes it easier to hit with the runners on because you know he has to be around the plate.”
LHP Mike Watt gave up six hits in five innings but only gave up two runs and one of which shouldn’t have been allowed as the umpire failed to credit LF Danny Payne on fine running shoestring catch that should have ended the inning.
In addition to the ninth inning heroics by the offense, LHP/reliever Zach Herr shinned in his inning and two-thirds.
Herr, who has had one of the better seasons of any pitcher in the organization, was able to wiggle out of a big jam in the eighth after setting down the JetHawks in order in the seventh.
After giving up a lead-off double to begin the eighth, he made a pair of athletic plays to keep Lancaster from adding on.
The next batter sacrificed but Herr was able to field the bunt cleanly and threw a strike to third, but the umpire blew his second call of the day in the JetHawks favor. With runners on the corners he fielded a come backer to the mound and ran down the runner on third.
“He can put his fastball on both sides of the plate and has a quality curve and good sinker,” Plantier said on the former Nebraska Cornhusker.
“He has an aggressive personality, attacks hitters and isn’t afraid to throw any of his pitches.”
With runners on first and second he struck out the next batter and with RHP Jeremy McBryde now on the mound Lancaster attempted a double steal with the runner on third breaking for home when Galvez gunned him down.
McBryde held Lancaster scoreless in the ninth as the Storm rallied in the final frame to give him his second win of the year.
Notes: Padres LHP Joe Thatcher, on a rehabilitation assignment in his first work of the year since spring training worked a clean sixth inning with a pair of strikeouts. He is headed to Tucson tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the final game of the homestand before road series in Inland Empire and Lancaster.