When you play the game the right way, good things happen. Good things have certainly been happening to the Lake Elsinore Storm, who were walk-off winners Wednesday night in a 4-3 defeat of the Visalia Rawhide to extend their winning streak to a season-high six games.
A big part of the team’s recent success has been the performance of its starting pitchers. Zach Eflin continued that trend with his longest start of the season, a 6.2 inning effort that, while not his best performance of the year, was exactly what the Storm needed to continue their winning ways. The 20-year old from Chuluota, Florida scattered six hits and allowed just one run while striking out six.
Eflin was bolstered by yet another early lead. Duanel Jones worked a one-out walk in the second and advanced to third on a Luis Domoromo single. Jeremy Rodriguez plated Jones with a sacrifice fly to give the Storm a 1-0 lead after two innings.
Lake Elsinore would increase their lead in the fifth. Corey Adamson reached on a two-out hit by pitch, and three consecutive singles from Hunter Renfroe, Gabriel Quintana and Diego Goris scored a pair to increase the advantage to 3-0.
Despite the three-run cushion, Visalia chipped away late in the game. Eflin was tagged for a run in the seventh, and the Rawhide would add single runs in the eighth and ninth to tie the game 3-3. The Storm pitching staff had previously held the ‘Hide scoreless for 20 innings until scoring against Eflin.
With the game still tied after nine, the Storm headed to extras for the third time this season. Ben Paullus worked a one-two-three tenth, and Lake Elsinore didn’t waste any time in the bottom of the frame. Goris singled with one out, and Jones provided the heroics with a game-winning double to tan the ‘Hide 4-3.
Paullus earned the first California League win of his career while Enrique Burgos was saddled with the loss. Domoromo extended his hitting streak to six, the longest active streak on the roster, and is one game shy of tying
Quintana’s seven game stretch from earlier in the season. The Storm (16-11) have now won eight consecutive games at The Diamond, improving their record to 9-4 at home. Visalia (17-10) drops their fourth game in a row, their longest losing streak of the season.
The Storm are 5-2 in one-run games and 2-1 in extra innings contests. They will finish the month with the most wins in April over the last five seasons.
A series sweep is on the line tomorrow night as Colin Rea (3-0, 4.30 ERA) takes the hill for the Storm while Spencer Arroyo (2-1, 2.56 ERA) gets the ball for Visalia. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.