Class A Advanced Lancaster is moving on to the Division Finals after defeating Rancho Cucamonga, 21-6, on Friday night in Game 3 of the California League Mini-Series.
After dropping the series opener, 4-3, in 16 innings, Lancaster erupted for 17 runs on 19 hits to win Game 2 and even the series at one game apiece. The JetHawks' offense continued its assault on Quakes pitching in Game 3, with outfielders Jason Martin and Kyle Tucker pacing the club in a 21-run, 20-hit attack.
Martin was Lancaster's offense star in the contest, going 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs -- his fourth multi-homer contest of 2016 -- and a career-high seven RBIs. The Astros' No. 29 prospect connected on a grand slam in the bottom of the third, plated two runs with a two-out single in the fourth -- the second of which scored on a throwing error -- and then extended the JetHawks' lead with a two-run homer in the sixth.
"Tonight, we had really good pitching, so I felt like our hitting fed off our pitching and our pitching fed off our hitting. It was just an unstoppable combo," Martin told MiLB.com. "The tempo of the game, especially when we're not spending a lot of time out on the field, we have time to rest in the dugout and really focus on hitting."
The 21-year-old outfielder capped his regular season on a high note, hitting .478 with a 1.686 OPS, four home runs and 10 RBIs over his final seven contests to earn MLBPipeline.com Prospect Team of the Week honors. Overall, Martin posted a .270/.357/.533 batting line in 110 games for Lancaster, and he was one of three Minor Leaguers to accrue at least 20 home runs (23) and 20 stolen bases (20).
As for Tucker, the Astros' No. 2 prospect overcame an 0-for-8, three-strikeout performance in Game 1 to hit a two-run home run as well as a double, finishing 2-for-5 in the series clincher. Promoted to Lancaster from Class A Quad Cities on Aug. 17, Tucker, ranked No. 53 on the Top 100, batted .339/.435/.661 with 11 extra-base hits, 13 runs scored and 13 RBIs in 16 games to help carry the JetHawks into the postseason.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.