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JetHawks' Season Is Thrown for a Loss

August 31, 1996|JEFF FLETCHER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN BERNARDINO — Jason Cook sat alone on the bench, not quite knowing the full significance of one errant throw.

The JetHawk third baseman knew his errant throw allowed the winning run to score for the San Bernardino Stampede in the 10th inning of a 5-4 loss before 4,473 on Friday night at the Ranch.

He had to be told that the loss eliminated the JetHawks from possible postseason play because the High Desert Mavericks and Lake Elsinore Storm won, pushing Lancaster three games back with two to play.

"I feel like . . . ," Cook said. "I hate to lose a chance at the playoffs on something like that. I wish he could have hit it in the gap instead."

The JetHawks, who blew a two-run lead by giving up two solo homers in the ninth, led, 4-3, in the bottom of the 10th but the Stampede scored a run to tie the game with a two-out single.

Adrian Beltre hit a roller down to third that Cook fielded but he didn't seem to have a play at first. He threw the ball anyway and when James Clifford came far off the bag to block the throw, Eddie Davis scored from second base.

"I knew I had to get rid of it," Cook said. "I knew [Beltre] ran pretty well. Maybe I should have planted and thrown it. I just did what my baseball instincts told me to do."

The JetHawks (35-33, 71-67 overall) were one out from a victory twice. They carried a 3-1 lead into the ninth, with Marino Santana pitching a brilliant game.

But Santana gave up a one-out homer to Beltre and a two-out homer to Ervan Wingate.

Reliever Chris Beck got out of the inning and the JetHawks regained the lead with a run in the top of the 10th.

Mike Lanza walked and took on Shane Monahan's perfectly-executed hit-and-run single. Cook drove him in with a sacrifice fly.

The JetHawks, held to two hits by San Bernardino's Kevin Pincavitch in a loss on Sunday, didn't do much better against him on Friday night. They managed four hits in eight innings.

Chris Dean's second-inning pop up into right field turned into an inside-the-park home run when San Bernardino right fielder Chip Sell lost sight of the ball. It bounced over Sell's head and Dean scored standing up.

Santana gave up an unearned run in the fifth, but the JetHawks regained the lead in the sixth on James Clifford's run-scoring single.

In the seventh, Dean led off with a single, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Mike Lanza's fly out, giving the JetHawks a 3-1 lead.

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