Lancaster overcomes handicaps, wins first-half title

I said it a couple of weeks ago that in a tight race in the California League’s South Division for the first half title, that Lake Elsinore was the team to beat.

Despite the anemic play throughout the division, Lake Elsinore had been in first place for more than a month. Lake Elsinore also had a favorable schedule down the stretch, with more games against South opponents.

That didn’t matter to Lancaster, which won the first-half title anyway on Friday. The JetHawks’ 4-1 victory over Visalia, coupled with High Desert’s 5-4 win over Lake Elsinore, gave Lancaster a three-game lead with two games to play to clinch the title. Lancaster is 4-0 so far on a first-half ending six-game North Division road trip.

Lancaster has won all three half titles since becoming a Boston Red Sox affiliate at the start of the 2007 season. The first-half title leaves Lake Elsinore, the Quakes, the 66ers, and the Mavericks vying for the final two South Division playoff spots in September.