Reliever John Thompson returned to the site of one his worst nightmares and vanquished the memory.
Thompson pitched a scoreless ninth inning Friday night, securing the JetHawks’ 4-2 victory over the Lake Elsinore Storm before a paid crowd of 6,302 at the Diamond.
In the same ballpark, Thompson blew a three-run ninth-inning lead in April.
On Friday, he retired Todd Takayoshi on a grounder to end the game with the potential tying runs on base.
“It was nice to get a little revenge,” Thompson said. “It was a good situation to come back and redeem myself.”
Thompson’s seventh save, his third in four days, helped the JetHawks remain one game behind the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the California League Southern Division’s first-half race with two games remaining.
The Quakes beat the San Bernardino Stampede, 5-1. The day that began with all five division teams having a mathematical shot at winning the half ended with only the JetHawks and Quakes in the race.
Clint Gould relieved with the Storm having the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base in the sixth, and held the lead through the eighth before handing the game over to Thompson.
The JetHawks scored in the first inning when Jose Cruz Jr. hit a solo home run and made it 2-0 on Shane Monahan’s two-out run-scoring double in the fifth. In the sixth, Carlos Villalobos doubled home Scot Sealy.
Through five innings, Chris Beck (6-3) gave up six hits but no runs. He was saved in the fifth when Cruz nailed Paul Failla trying to go from first to third on a single.
Beck allowed two runs in the sixth on two hits and a walk.
JetHawks 4, Lake Elsinore 2
JetHawks 100 011 010 -- 4 9 1
Lake Elsinore 000 002 000 -- 2 8 0
Beck, Gould (6), Thompson (9) and Sealy; Harris, Sebach (6), Castillo (8) and Merullo.
W--Beck (6-3).L--Harris (0-6).S--Thompson (7).
2B: J--Villalobos 2, Monahan.HR:J--Cruz (6).
Records: JetHawks 36-32; Lake Elsinore 33-35.