After scoring just five runs in the previous three games, the Storm matched that total in the first inning on Friday, jumping out to an early lead that carried them to a 6-5 victory over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
After the Quakes put up a run in the top of the first, the Storm responded in a big way in the bottom of the frame. Alberth Martinez led off with his team-leading 42nd hit, and Benji Gonzalez followed with a walk. Chase Headley, who finished the night with two hits in his final game with the Storm, grounded into a double play in the next at-bat, moving Martinez to third. Diego Goris struck a deep fly ball to left-center that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double and scored Martinez. After Hunter Renfroe was hit by a pitch, a wild pitch on ball four to Luis Domoromo allowed Goris to advance ninety feet from third. Corey Adamson laced a double down the left field line after the walk to score Renfroe, and Duanel Jones joined the hit parade with a single that plated Domoromo. The Storm would add a fifth run after a throwing error by catcher Tyler Ogle allowed Adamson to score.
Matt Shepherd got the start for the Storm, allowing two runs on four hits in four innings of work.
Leading 5-2 after three, Lake Elsinore added a crucial run in the fourth. Martinez worked a lead-off walk, and Gonzalez moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later Goris singled to right for his second RBI of the game.
Bryce Morrow and Adam Cimber (W, 1-0) combined to work four innings of one-run ball after Shepherd’s departure, scattering three hits in that span. Trevor Gott came on in the ninth, and despite allowing a two-run home run managed to close out the game for his league-leading tenth save of the season.
The victory returns the Storm (21-15) to the win column and to the top of the South Division standings.