Three runs in the first inning were enough to down the Lake Elsinore Storm Sunday, as The Eyes fell 3-1 to the Inland Empire 66ers in game three of a four-game set.
Inland Empire did all of their damage against Storm starter Colin Rea (L, 5-5, 3.80). Sherman Johnson led off the game with a home run and the visitors tacked on two more with three hits. Rea lasted just four innings, his second-shortest start of the season.
A bright spot for Lake Elsinore was the performance of its bullpen. Chris Nunn, Adam Cimber, Trevor Gott and Cody Hebner combined on five scoreless innings of relief and allowed just three hits in that span.
The lone Storm score came in the eighth. Alberth Martinez lined his seventeenth double of the season to left at the start of the home half and would later score on Jeremy Baltz’s RBI single. Baltz has now hit safely in seven straight and recorded an RBI in five consecutive games.
Diego Goris extended his hitting streak to eleven games with a first innings single. The streak is the longest by a Storm player this season.
Bryce Morrow (1-0, 4.15 ERA) gets the call in the final game of the series tonight as the Storm (38-27) look to stay in the hunt for the first half title in the California League South. Mark Sappington (0-3, 8.79 ERA) will start for Inland Empire (22-43). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05pm.