“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Storm took those words to heart Tuesday, repeating the previous night’s performance of sound starting pitching and timely hitting in a 6-3 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at LoanMart Field.
After a scoreless two innings to start the game, the Storm struck first in the top of the third. Casey McElroy and John Nester hit back-to-back singles, and McElroy would score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Alberth Martinez. Two batters later, Hunter Renfroe drilled one deep to left center for his fourth home run of the year, and just like that the Storm led 3-0.
Colin Rea made his third start of the season for the Storm and turned in his best performance thus far. The Indiana State alum pitched out of trouble on multiple occasions, most notably in the third when he escaped a one out, bases loaded situation without allowing the Quakes to score.
Despite the 3-0 lead and an effective Rea, the Storm offense added on in the fifth. Nester doubled for his second hit of the night and would score on a Stephen Carmon triple to pad the Storm advantage.
After five scoreless innings, Rea ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. A lead-off walk followed by a single and a double put two on the board for the Quakes and ended Rea’s night, but the damage was limited by reliever Bryce Morrow. The Caledonia (MI) native retired three consecutive hitters to end the inning.
Another Storm run would cross in the eighth. Carmon reached on an error and promptly stole second base, setting the table for Gabriel Quintana’s fifth RBI of the season on a single. But the Quakes responded in the bottom of the inning, plating a run of their own to keep the deficit at two.
The Storm secured the victory in the ninth. Martinez would collect his sixteenth RBI of the season with a single, and in the bottom of the frame Storm closer Trevor Gott shut the door for his third save of the season.
With the victory the Storm (6-7) officially won their first series of 2014 and simultaneously extended their winning streak to three. Ruben Mejia (0-1) gets the call in game three tomorrow night, while Tom Windle (1-0) will go for the Quakes (5-8). First pitch is slated for 7:05pm.
You can catch every Storm game live on 94.5 KMYT FM or online at iHeartRadio.com. For news, scores, contests and giveaways make sure to follow the Storm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For tickets and more information visit stormbaseball.com or call the front office at (951) 245-4487.