The seeds of a new California League rivalry might have been sown Saturday when the High Desert Mavericks switched the game time from 7:05 p.m. to 2:05, no doubt cognizant that the JetHawks would travel all night to get home from San Jose.
"They could have made things a little more accommodating," JetHawk Manager Dave Brundage said. "But that's all right. I love the idea of a rivalry. We'll get a little more [intensity] out of these guys."
The JetHawks didn't depart San Jose after Friday's 6-0 victory over the Giants until 11 p.m. and didn't arrive in Lancaster until 5:30 a.m. But the all-night bus ride didn't seem to bother catcher Scot Sealy, who said he slept the entire way.
"I had the best seat--the back seat," Sealy said. "I got more than my average amount of sleep."
The JetHawks skipped batting practice and didn't arrive at Adelanto until 12:48. Maverick Stadium, a notorious hitter's park, was a welcome sight for Sealy, who is batting .200 on a team that entered the game with a .301 average.
"I played here last year, and the ball just floats out," Sealy said.
High Desert shortstop David Lamb, who signed with the Orioles out of Newbury Park High in 1993, entered Saturday's game ranked fifth in the California League in batting average (.406).
He credits his experience playing in the Hawaiian League last winter for the fast start. He played 55 games, batting .271 against Class A- and AA-caliber pitching, and helped the Maui Stingrays win a championship.
"I'm a different hitter," he said. "I'm more confident. I'm staying back and being more patient."
Lamb is one of three Valley products who entered Saturday's game ranked in the top five in batting. The others are Del Marine, first at .483, and J.P. Roberge, third at .433.
When the JetHawks play Visalia in their home opener it will mark the first game by a minor league team in Los Angeles County since the Hollywood Stars played their last game in September 1957.
JetHawks (Ivan Montane, 1-0) at High Desert (Brad Crills, 0-1), 2:05 p.m.