Lake Elsinore Storm Fall to Quakes 8-6 on Friday Night

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Credit: Steven Bates/EVT News

Lake Elsinore, California

Padres’ pitcher Bryan Mitchell made the start as he continued a rehab assignment with the Storm. In the first inning, he retired all three hitters in order, and left fielder Rod Boykin bailed him out by making a great diving catch on a pop fly near the foul line for the second out of the inning.

To start the first inning, Nate Easley was hit by a pitch to reach first base, and then Eguy Rosario smoked a grounder into center field to put the first two runners on base for the Storm. After the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, Luis Torrens lined a two-run single into left field to put the team up 2-0.

In the second inning, Catcher Michael Cantu hit a single to start things off, and was followed by Chris Baker — who hit a double to put runners on second and third. Then the Storm’s nine-hole hitter, Rod Boykin, hit a two-run single that bounced off the mound and into center field to give the team a 4-2 lead.

The Quakes’ starting pitcher, Max Gamboa, was not particularly sharp, and missed with multiple pitches up-and-in to Storm hitters, many of which very nearly hit them — Nate Easley led off the first inning for the Storm with a hit-by-pitch. The Storm ended up scoring six earned runs on Gamboa, who gave up 10 hits in five innings.

Starter Bryan Mitchell’s third inning was strong, as all three hitters were retired in order, on two pop-ups to second base and a fly out to center field. The only concern was an absolutely crushed ball to right field for Rancho Cucamonga’s Jared Walker that went just barely foul. The ball was so much higher than the foul pole that it was impossible to really tell if the ball may have been fair when it left the yard. Other than that, the inning was strong for Mitchell, and Walker’s foul ball was the only ball that was squared up during the inning.

Blanked in the third inning, the Storm were retired in order at the plate, as pitcher Max Gamboa struck out the side against Luis Torrens, Jorge Ona, and Ruddy Giron, in that order.

In his fourth inning of work, Mitchell allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base on a grounder to the second baseman in which Mitchell covered the bag, and the throw from Eguy Rosario hit off the top of Mitchell’s glove and went to the backstop. The batter, Cody Thomas, reached second base on the play. The next hitter flew out to right field for the first out, and while Thomas thought about advancing to third, Nate Easley’s strong throw to third convinced him to stick at second base. Mitchell walked a batter before getting a fielder’s choice out at second base for the next out. He loaded the bases with two outs as a result of two walks in the inning, and then gave up a Grand Slam to Nick Yarnall of the Quakes, which gave them the 6-4 lead.

Credit: S.Bates/EVT News

The grand slam ended his night, as Mitchell went 3.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on two hits, with three walks and one strikeout. Lefty Cody Tyler induced the 5-3 ground out to third base to finish the inning in relief. The Storm were retired in order during the bottom of the fourth inning.

Cody Tyler induced a sky-high pop up to retire the first hitter he faced in the fifth inning, before allowing an infield single that went off the heel of Shortstop Chris Baker’s glove as he went into the slide in the 5.5 hole. The next batter hit a lazy fly ball to center fielder Edward Olivares for the second out of the inning. Tyler struck out the final hitter of the inning to finish a scoreless frame.

Nate Easley, the man who kisses his bat before every pitch, lined out to third base to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Following him, was Eguy Rosario, who hit a ringing single through the 5.5 hole into left field for his third hit in his first three plate appearances. Edward Olivares then hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, and reached first base as the Quakes recorded the second out. Having a good night, Luis Torrens hit a slow single into right field to move Olivares to second and put two runners on base. Jorge Ona followed him with a crushed two-run double that bounced once on the warning track and off the wall, knotting the game at six apiece.

The top of the sixth inning was a little shaky for Tyler as he allowed a one-out single, and then hit the next batter — though he did at least strike out the next hitter for the second out. Unfortunately, he gave up a two-out, two-run triple to Brandon Montgomery as the Quakes went up 8-6. He struck out the final batter to finish the inning.

Dauris Valdez came in for the seventh inning with the Storm, and struck out the first batter he faced  before inducing a ground out to second base. He also struck out the third hitter he faced, on a 97 mph fastball — he touched 98 with the pitch on the night. The bottom of the seventh inning was largely nondescript as the Storm only put one runner on base because of an error.

The six-foot-eight-inch righty, Valdez, stayed in for the eighth inning as well, inducing a deep fly out to center field to begin the frame for out number one. He struck out the next batter swinging, and induced an easy pop-up for the final out of the frame. He threw two innings, allowing no hits or walks while striking out three.

To finish the eighth inning, the Storm were struck out in order. Blake Rogers came in to pitch the ninth inning for the Storm, and struck out the first two hitters he faced before retiring the next hitter on a line out to left field. The Storm were retired in order to finish the ninth inning, and lost the game 8-6.

The Storm’s record is now 59-65. The attendance for the game was reported at 4,268.

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