The Lake Elsinore Storm were walk-off winners for the third time in four games Thursday night, besting the Visalia Rawhide 3-2 in eleven innings to complete a perfect home stand.
For the first time this series the Rawhide opened the scoring. Ryan Court tagged Storm starter Colin Rea with a solo shot in the second to put Visalia up 1-0.
But despite the early deficit, Rea found his groove. The 6′ 5″ righty went on to retire the next eleven hitters following Court’s blast.
With Rea cruising, the Storm struck for two in the fifth. Hunter Renfroe hit his ninth double of the year, a two-out rocket that was no more than six feet off the ground, to score Luis Domoromo. Gabriel Quintana followed with an RBI single to plate Renfroe, and the Storm jumped out to a 2-1 lead.
Visalia would tie it in the seventh, but a strong outing from reliever Cody Hebner kept the ‘Hide in check through the eighth and ninth. Bryce Morrow (W, 1-0) worked a scoreless tenth and eleventh, setting the table for another heroic moment in the bottom of the inning.
Storm newcomer Luis Tejada recorded his first California League hit to start the rally, a one out double that landed just feet from the wall. John Nester provided the winning hit in the subsequent at-bat, a sharply hit single to right that scored Tejada and sealed the seventh-straight Storm victory.
The win is the ninth straight at The Diamond for the Storm (17-11), who are now 10-4 at home. Of those ten victories, four have come in walk-off fashion. The team improves to 3-1 in extra inning games and is in sole possession of first place in the Southern Division. Their record is second only to the Bakersfield Blaze, who are 20-8 in 2014.
Domoromo continues to swing a hot bat after a slow start. The Venezuelan has now hit safely in seven straight games, tying the longest hitting streak by a Storm player this season. He has collected 13 hits in his last 27 at-bats. Renfroe has hit in six in row.
With the longest home stand to date in the books, the Storm will travel up the 15 freeway to take on the Inland Empire 66ers (11-17) in the first of three games tomorrow night. Ruben Mejia (2-1, 3.92) will start for the Storm while Alex Keudell (0-4, 10.13) gets the ball for IE. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.