Another day, another late loss of the lead and another extra-innings power display. For the second straight game, the Lake Elsinore Storm gave up the lead in the final innings but claimed victory via the long ball in a 5-3 defeat of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Monday.
Runs in the first two innings staked the Storm to an early advantage. A one out single from Diego Goris started things in the first, and after a Hunter Renfroe base hit Jeremy Baltz plated Goris with a safety of his own. In the second, Benji Gonzalez doubled and stole third before Jeremy Rodriguez brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
Bryan Rodriguez was once again impressive on the mound, working 7.1 scoreless innings before being removed in the eighth.
After adding a run in the sixth thanks to Baltz triple, Lake Elsinore seemed headed for a shutout victory. But a three-run home run off the bat of Brandon Dixon in the bottom of the eighth tied the game and would send both teams to extra innings for the second straight day.
Much like yesterday’s win, the Storm didn’t waste any time in bonus baseball. Renfroe swatted his twelfth home run of the season to put Lake Elsinore back up by two, and Matthew Shepherd (W, 3-1) secured the win in the bottom of the tenth to preserve a two-game lead in the South Division standings.
Renfroe has driven in at least one run and gotten a hit in each of the last seven games, and has had multiple RBI games in three of those seven. Goris ended the four game series 10-16 with three home runs, eight RBI and seven runs scored. Baltz finished the day with three hits.
The win improves the Storm to 32-20 and stretches their win streak to five, the second-longest winning run of the season. By sweeping the Quakes, the Storm hand Rancho their first series loss and sweep in May and their first four-game sweep of the season. Lake Elsinore has also bested Rancho Cucamonga for the best May record (16-9) in the league.
The Storm return home tonight for a crucial three-game series with the Lancaster JetHawks (32-22), who come to town trailing Lake Elsinore by just two games. Joe Ross (5-2, 2.78 ERA) will lead the charge on the mound while Kyle Westwood (2-3, 3.52 ERA) gets the start for Lancaster. First pitch is set for 6:05pm.