A fifteen-hit onslaught spurred the Lake Elsinore Storm to a 9-1 rout of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Friday night, securing the Storm a two game lead in the California League South with twenty-one games left in the first half.
The offense got started early with a four-hit, four-run first. Corey Adamson led off the game with a single and promptly stole second base. Alberth Martinez brought him home with a knock of his own, and Hunter Renfroe followed with a base hit to put two men on with one out. Two batters later, Gabriel Quintana lined his tenth double of the season off the wall in dead centerfield to plate a pair. A Quakes error allowed Quintana to score and Lake Elsinore leapt out to a 4-0 lead before Rancho came to the plate.
Zach Eflin made his tenth start of the season and continued to display his consistency and poise, scattering four hits over six innings of work while allowing just one run. The Chuluota, FL product struck out five and walked one en route to his fifth win of the season.
Three consecutive two-out singles in the third added another run to Lake Elsinore’s tally, and the Storm would add two more in the fourth thanks to timely hitting and sloppy defense from the Quakes to lead 7-1 after four innings. The Storm collected ten hits through the first twelve outs.
After a quiet fifth, sixth and seventh the Storm added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth. Adamson singled and later scored on another Rancho error in the penultimate inning, and Jeremy Rodriguez hit a two-out, bases loaded single to add a run in the ninth.
Matthew Shepherd, Josh Richardson and Chris Nunn combined for three shutout innings of relief to seal the win.
Adamson finished the night with a season-high four hits, while Quintana, Renfroe and Jeremy Baltz each recorded multi-hit games. Eight of the nine starters had a hit tonight.
With the win, the Storm (29-20) gain a game on the Lancaster JetHawks in the South Division standings. The eight-run margin of victory is the largest for Lake Elsinore since defeating the Inland Empire 66ers 13-3 back on April 27.
The Storm will return to LoanMart Field tomorrow for game two of a four-game set. Colin Rea (4-2, 3.80 ERA) will start for Lake Elsinore while Fabio Martinez (2-2, 3.80 ERA) gets the ball for Rancho Cucamonga (23-26). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.