Fists of Fitz: JetHawks Update

Our man in Lancaster, Thomas Fitzgerald, is hitting the (former) Hangar as hard as the JetHawks are. This week's <b>Fists of Fitz</b> breaks down the week that was for the Diamondback Hi-A affiliate in Lancaster.

 "After you!"

"No. No. I insist, after you!

"No, really. By all means, after you!"


Behaving like the old time Looney Tune cartoon where two characters with nefarious motives attempt to snooker one another into walking through a doorway and into an impeding doom that waits on the other side, neither the Stockton Ports nor the Lancaster JetHawks played as if they wanted a W.

The Lancaster JetHawks also ignored an age old custom of playing grateful host to gift bearing visitors and as a result, lost to the Stockton Ports 8-7, Friday, 15 April at The Hangar in Lancaster.

Lancaster (3-6) started righty Sam Smith who threw four innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, walked four, and fanned two with one hit batter. Only four of the six runs were earned.

Four of the first five outs recorded by Smith were flyball outs. With two out in the second, Stockton first baseman Vaili Spanos hit a solo homerun for 1-0 lead. Smith walked the next batter then struck out Port's nine-hole hitter, John McCurdy (.143) to end the inning.

The top of the third began the same way the previous two innings did, with a fly ball out. After a walk and a ground out, Oakland A's prospect and DH, Daric Barton (.292), smacked a two run homerun putting the Ports up 3-0.

With two outs, two consecutive walks were then issued by Smith before an error by first baseman Chris carter extended the inning. After two consecutive singles scored two unearned runs, the tenth batter of the inning ended the bleeding the same way he started the inning: with a fly ball out. After playing three, Lancaster trailed 5-0.

In the fourth inning, Smith collected a strike out and added a hit batter to his stats, who later scored on a two out triple.

Ruben Kerbs and his 33.75 ERA took over from Smith in the fifth. Kerbs reduced his ERA by throwing three innings, giving up one run on four hits and three strikeouts while walking none. Kerbs performance was not reflective of his previous troubles as he retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings.

Ryan Coffin relieved in the eighth and threw for one and a third, allowing one run on three hits with one strike out.

Offensively, Erik Schindewolf increased his lead league in walks to 15 as he collected two more and finished the night 1-3. His lone hit came by way of an infield singled earned by great hustle with two outs in the sixth and the JetHawks down 7-6.


In a strange turn of events, the JetHawks scored on wild pitches in three straight innings. In the fourth, JetHawk second baseman, Jon Kaplan (0-3, walk, two strike outs) scored the first of his two runs by way of wild pitches, once in the fourth and once in the fifth. Kaplan led off the JetHawk three run fourth inning by reaching on an error. First baseman Chris Carter (2-4, 1R, 2RBI's) then singled followed by Garthwaite who walked to load the bases. One wild pitch later, the JetHawks scored the first run of the game.

The next inning, the fifth, after walking to get on base, Kaplan probably made the record books when he again scored from third on a wild pitch.

Again in the very next inning, the sixth, right fielder Jeff Cook (2-4, R) also scored from third on a wild pitch. That run put Lancaster behind 7-6 and would be the last run scored by the JetHawks until the ninth when after walking yet again, Erik Schindewolf would score from third on a passed ball to close Stockton's lead, 8-7.

Catcher Miguel Montero ended the game by striking out.


Game Notes:


Montero (.323, 2-4, walk) has reached base safely in eight of nine games and has at least one hit in seven games.


Despite scoring seven runs, JetHawks batters collected only 2 RBI's.


JetHawk batters walked and struck out five times.


Three consecutive innings (fourth, fifth, sixth) with a run scored from third on a wild pitch.


One run scored from third by a passed ball (ninth).



Stockton     8   14   3

Lancaster   7   10   1


Attendance: 1,593

Time:             3:37



Another Wild Night Out West at The Hangar

Box Score Puts Up Repeated Number 13 and a Straight.

No Sign of Apocalypse yet in Mojave Desert       


In celebration of 10 years of JetHawks baseball at The Hangar, a post game firework extravaganza was preceded by the second straight game of bizarre scoring circumstances. One night earlier, the JetHawks scored three runs for three innings in a row on wild pitches, and here is where it gets a little creepy, the first two by the same player (Jon Kaplan) and then the team eventually went on to add a run in the ninth on a passed ball.

On Saturday, April 16, against the Stockton Ports, pitches were wild once again with JetHawk runners on third, and runs scored, but not enough as the JetHawks dropped their third straight game, and the second of the three game weekend series against Stockton, 11-5. The loss puts the JetHawks at 3-7 for the year.

The game itself began with a single play two base double error by JetHawks second baseman Steve Garrabrants on a ground ball hit by Ports leadoff batter Luke Appert, and then it was all downhill from there for Lancaster. The error, combined with two base hits, a walk and a double, left JetHawks starter Chris Kinsey smarting and after a half inning of ball, Lancaster was down 3-0. Kinsey came into the night with a 12.46 ERA after lasting four innings against Rancho Cucamonga last week. Against Stockton, Kinsey lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs, four earned, on ten hits. He faced 22 batters, walked three and struck out one.

Ryan Holsten followed and strangely enough lasted an equivalent 2 2/3 innings and surrendered three runs, all earned, on five hits with one strike out. Holsten lasted only 2/3 inning in his only other appearance of the season and came into the game with a 40.50 ERA.

Alex Cremidan was the surprise of the evening in relief of Holsten, throwing two full innings and allowing only one run on three hits. Cremidan was the only JetHawks pitcher to retire the side in order when he did so in the sixth against the bottom third of the Stockton order. Five pitchers were used by Lancaster. Jared Leibeck and Dustin Glant each went one inning and did not allow a run.

The previous games weirdness came back to life in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Brian Rose (1-3, 2B, R) doubled with one out and no one on. After a fly ball out by center fielder Lino Garcia (0-4), Derek Bruce (1-3, R) singled placed runners on the corners. Garrabrants (3-4, 2B, R, RBI) doubled home Rose to collect his lone RBI for the game.

With Jon Kaplan at the plate, Stockton starter Trent Peterson then threw wild to home allowing Bruce to score the fourth run of the series on a wild pitch. Kaplan went on reach first on a base on balls. Before first baseman Chris Carter struck out, Garrabrants would go on to score the third run of the inning and the second on a miscue when Port catcher Jed Morris was charged with a throwing error.

JetHawk third baseman Jay Garthwaite (1-4, R) led off the next inning with a single then advanced to second and then on to third on two more wild pitches thrown by Ports reliever, JR Pickens. Garthwaite would score on a two out single by DH Miguel Montero (1-4, RBI).


For what is worth, the box score for Stockton:


Inning   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    


Runs     3    1     3      0     3     0     1     0     0       


Hits       3    2     5      1     4     0     3     2     1      




Inning   1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9


Runs     0    0     0     0     3     1     0     1     0     


Hits       1    0     1      0     3     1     0     1     0 



Game Notes:


A great game to get some numbers from to play in the lottery.


Stockton loaded the bases in four different innings and had a two out hit each inning except the sixth.


All nine Ports hitters recorded a hit while six players had a multi-hit game, and five of those six had three hits each.


Only two Stockton players failed to get an RBI and of the seven that did, only two players had more than one (two had two each).


Garrabrants was only Lancaster batter to walk (1) and have multi-hit game (3-4) and raised his average from .250 to .375.


Seven JetHawks strike outs.


Shortstop Danny Richar (0-1, K) was pinch hit for in the fifth by Derek Bruce who remained in the game.


Coming into the game, the JetHawks ranked second to last in average per game attendance (1,297). League low is Visalia (869) and the California League leader is Rancho Cucamonga (3,805).


Announced paid attendance for Saturday's game at The Hangar was 4,548. Five game total for 2005 is 9,738 with an average of 1,947 which places Lancaster fifth in the 10 game league.







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