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Skeels Makes Most of Rare Chance

Baseball: Backup catcher has four hits to lead JetHawks in doubleheader sweep.

May 27, 1997|From Staff Reports

ADELANTO — No. 3 catcher David Skeels, starting only his fifth game of the season, had four hits, including a two-run triple in the 11th inning, leading the Lancaster JetHawks to an 11-9 victory over the High Desert Mavericks and a doubleheader sweep on Monday before 2,728 at Maverick Stadium.

Three pitchers combined on a two-hitter to give the JetHawks an 8-1 victory in the first game.

Skeels, a Thousand Oaks High graduate, had six runs batted in. His first triple raised his average to .409 (nine for 22) and saved the JetHawks from what would have been a frustrating defeat.

The JetHawks (27-26) were two outs from winning in regulation, but Junior Spivey tripled home Travis Lee with the tying run in the seventh.

The JetHawks also had James Clifford nailed in a rundown between third and home with one out in the eighth and Joel Ramirez thrown out at the plate to end the ninth.

Right-hander Rafael Rivera (1-2), who blew his third consecutive save opportunity, picked up the victory with a season-long four innings of relief. He gave up one run on two hits.

In the first game, Matt Apana, Aaron Scheffer and Robby Christianson combined to hold the Mavericks to two hits. Scheffer (6-1), who pitched the fourth through sixth innings, picked up the victory. In his last six relief appearances, Scheffer has picked up five victories and one save.

Offensively, the JetHawks pounded out 11 hits, including four home runs, snapping out of a two-game slump in which they had only 12 hits combined.

Carlos Villalobos hit his third home run, and second grand slam. Shawn Buhner, Clifford and Miguel Correa added homers. Buhner's seventh homer was his second in as many games, and Clifford and Correa each hit their 10th, sharing the team lead.

JetHawk outfielder Tarrik Brock, who ran into the right field wall chasing a fly ball on Sunday, was diagnosed with a concussion. His status is questionable for a few days.

The JetHawks return home tonight to begin a three-game series against the Visalia Oaks. The 7:15 game will pit JetHawk ace right-hander Rob Luce (7-1, 2.54) against Visalia right-hander Todd Abbott (5-3, 5.04).

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