An eighth inning blast from Duanel Jones this pas Saturday catalyzed a five-run outburst from the Lake Elsinore Storm Saturday night, part of a 9-4 win over the Inland Empire 66ers in game two of the four-game series.
Lake Elsinore struck for an early score in the bottom of the first. Alberth Martinez led off with a walk and later scored on Jeremy Baltz’s RBI single.
Storm starter Zach Eflin made his twelfth start of the season, holding the 66ers hitless through his first four innings of work. Despite his early success, the visitors got to the righty for a run in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. Eflin completed six innings and allowed just four hits, although two of those were home runs.
The Storm answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Diego Goris singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Baltz joined him aboard via walk, and Gabriel Quintana plated Goris with a single. Jones followed with a base hit, and a Dane Phillips groundout allowed Baltz to score.
Lake Elsinore tied the game in the seventh. Jeremy Rodriguez walked, and was advanced to third on a bunt followed by a ground out. Another Inland Empire wild pitch allowed Rodriguez to score, tying the game 4-4.
Brandon Alger (W, 3-1) worked two innings in relief, giving up just one hit while striking out four.
Jones’ blast came at the start of the home half of the eighth inning. The Samana, Dominican Republic native launched an Austin Adams pitch 436 feet to left to put the Storm up 5-4. Adams had not allowed a home run prior to tonight’s game.
Lake Elsinore added four more runs thanks to a sacrifice fly and Baltz’s third triple of 2014, and Matthew Shepherd shut the door in the ninth to secure the fourth-straight win for the Storm.
Goris extended his hitting streak to ten, matching a team-high for the season. Hunter Renfroe has hit safely in eight consecutive games and Baltz has recorded a hit in six straight. The Storm are now 10-1 against the 66ers this season, including a perfect 5-0 at The Diamond.