The Storm couldn’t solve Modesto Nuts starting pitcher Matt Flemer (W, 4-4) Monday night and were thusly on the wrong end of a 4-0 shutout at The Diamond, the first time the Storm have been held scoreless this season.
The game took on a muted tone in the top of the first, as Storm starter Colin Rea (L, 4-2) was struck in the chest by a 102 MPH line drive off the bat of Nuts lead-off man David Kandilas. Rea managed to make his way off the mound and attempt a flip to first but immediately fell to his knees in pain. After a tense five minutes and an extended visit from head trainer Will Sinon, Rea returned to the pitcher’s plate to continue the inning. Modesto scored twice on four hits to take an early 2-0 lead.
Despite the injury, Rea performed admirably. The Cascade, IA went on to throw 81 pitches after the incident and at one point retired seven straight.
Modesto added runs in the sixth and ninth to extend their lead to four.
Rea’s effort could not be matched by the Storm offense. Lake Elsinore managed just 6 hits in the game, two of which came in the ninth inning. The Storm went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Hunter Renfroe recorded his team-leading ninth stolen base in nine attempts and had a pair of hits.
With the loss, the Storm (26-19) split the series with the Nuts (12-33) and finish 4-3 against them in seven games at The Diamond.
The home stand continues tomorrow as the High Desert Mavericks make their first visit to Lake Elsinore this season. Bryce Morrow (1-0, 4.09 ERA) will make his first start of the season for the Storm. High Desert has yet to declare their starter. First pitch is set for 6:05pm.