Chris Beck had won. He had pitched well. And he had started.
But until Tuesday night, he had not done all three at once.
Beck pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up two hits and facing just two batters over the minimum, as the JetHawks beat the High Desert Mavericks, 7-0, before a paid crowd of 1,119 at Maverick Stadium.
The JetHawks (30-28) remained one game behind the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the California League’s Southern Division standings with 12 games remaining in the first half.
A 23-year-old right-hander from The Master’s College, Beck won his first four decisions this season while pitching out of the bullpen. After Bob Worley was promoted to double A in late April, Beck moved into the rotation.
In his first seven starts, Beck was 0-3 with a 4.61 earned-run average. He showed promise in his last start, allowing two runs in seven innings of a game the JetHawks won in extra innings.
“I don’t think it was a burden,” Beck said of his victory drought. “Wins and losses are nice, but if you are throwing the ball well, that’s all that counts.”
Beck (5-3) walked three and gave up two hits, but one runner was caught stealing and two others were erased on double plays. He struck out five. And toward the end of his 102-pitch night, he was still throwing 90-mph fastballs.
“We really got into it and focused on what we wanted to do to each hitter,” catcher Scot Sealy said. “If you pitch like that, you will be successful at any level.”
Reliever John Thompson, who had not pitched since May 26, worked the eighth and Todd Niemeier pitched the ninth to seal the JetHawks’ third combined shutout, and first since April 19.
The JetHawks, who have won nine of 11 after losing 17 of 20, scored runs in the first, fourth and sixth before blowing the game open in the top of the seventh.
With two out and a runner at second, consecutive hits by Shane Monahan, Jose Cruz Jr., Jesus Marquez and Jason Cook drove in four runs to build the lead to 7-0.
“We’ve got that feeling of confidence right now,” Manager Dave Brundage said. “We look like a team out to prove something.”
Cook had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Monahan, Sealy and shortstop Mike Lanza each had two of the JetHawks’ 15 hits.
JetHawks 7, High Desert 0
JetHawks: 100 101 400 -- 7 15 0
High Desert: 000 000 000 -- 0 3 1
Beck, Thompson (8), Niemeier (9) and Sealy; Rhodes, Sauritch (7), White (7), Olszewski (9) and Rosario.
W--Beck (5-3).L--Williams (1-4).
2B: J--Marquez, Cruz 2, Harrison, Cook.
Records: JetHawks 30-28; High Desert 29-30.
* JETHAWKS REPORT: C13