Storm catcher John Nester had himself a night Tuesday, collecting two of the four Storm hits and scoring the winning run in the 12th to lead Lake Elsinore to a 4-3 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers.
Zach Eflin got the start for the Storm and was solid in his second appearance against the 66ers. The righty struck out four in five innings of work, scattering five hits and walking none.
The lone blemish on Eflin’s line came in the fourth. A one out infield single led to a run for Inland Empire to give them a 1-0 lead.
But the advantage didn’t last long. Nester deposited his first home run of the season over the left field wall in the top of the fifth to tie the game at one.
From there it was a pitcher’s duel, as both teams failed to score despite multiple opportunities through the remaining four innings.
In the tenth, a two-run outburst from Lake Elsinore seemed to be enough to win the game, but the 66ers put up a pair in the bottom of the frame to stay alive.
After a scoreless eleventh, the Storm broke through in the twelfth. Nester reached on a one out walk and advance to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on a balk, and Benji Gonzalez joined him on base after earning free pass of his own. Jeremy Baltz, who played in Lake Elsinore last season and was transferred to the club prior to today’s game, was also walked to load the bases. With Hunter Renfroe at the dish, another wild pitch allowed Nester to score the go-ahead run.
Adam Cimber (W, 2-0) allowed a lead-off double in the bottom of the inning but retired the next three hitters to secure the 4-3 win.
The series continues tomorrow night in San Bernardino, as Colin Rea (3-1, 4.09 ERA) toes the slab for the Storm (22-17). Tyler DeLoach (2-2, 3.18 ERA) will go for the 66ers. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.