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Oaks Break Out Lumber, Bury Beck, JetHawks, 11-5

Baseball: Christenson, Slemmer swat homers in 10-run barrage against right-hander.

May 29, 1997|PETER YOON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LANCASTER — Two long home runs coupled with two long innings made for a long evening for pitcher Chris Beck and the rest of the Lancaster JetHawks in an 11-5 loss to the Visalia Oaks on Wednesday night before an announced crowd of 3,541 at Lancaster Municipal Stadium.

Beck, who played at The Master's College, surrendered 10 of Visalia's runs, nine earned in 3 1/3 innings. He retired the side in order in the second, but otherwise struggled.

Beck had three strikeouts, hit a batter, walked a batter and gave up a triple and two home runs. He threw 84 pitches in his short outing.

A leadoff home run by Visalia center fielder Ryan Christenson in the third and a three-run blast by first baseman Dave Slemmer in the same inning put Visalia ahead, 7-4.

Christenson led off the fourth with a single, David Newhan walked, Ramon Hernandez reached on an error and Beck (1-3) was finished.

Christenson and Newhan both are former Pepperdine players.

Visalia, however, was not. Eric Chavez greeted reliever Brian Sweeney by crushing his first pitch to center field for a three-run home run that hit midway up the 30-foot screen in center field, just to the left of the 410-foot sign, and gave the Oaks an 11-4 lead.

Sweeney settled down after that, retiring 13 of the next 15 batters before Sean Spencer took over to start the ninth. Sweeney pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits in his longest outing of the season.

Spencer, making his first appearance since May 7, was sharp in his inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Newhan, but struck out Ramon Hernandez and Chavez, then got Duane Filchner to ground out softly to first.

The JetHawks took a short-lived 4-1 lead after two innings. Carlos Villalobos hit a three-run home run in the first, his fourth of the season, and Luis Molina doubled home Tarrik Brock in the second.

But Visalia starter Jake O'Dell allowed just two hits over the next four innings. He pitched six innings and allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out nine.

* DAILY REPORT: Left-hander Sean Spencer is activated after recovering from a staph infection. C12

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