Just one night removed from being shutout for the first time this season, the Lake Elsinore Storm rebounded with two runs in the first and another pair in the seventh Tuesday evening to defeat the High Desert Mavericks 4-2 at The Diamond.
Alberth Martinez got things started in the opening frame, reaching on an error by Mavericks starter Scott DeCecco. Jeremy Baltz worked a walk, and Hunter Renfroe followed with a double off the wall in left to score Martinez. Diego Goris plated Baltz with a ground ball in the next at-bat to give the Storm an early 2-0 lead.
Right hander Bryce Morrow made his first start of the year for Lake Elsinore, and the Caledonia, MI product performed well. Morrow scattered three hits over five innings of work, but two unearned runs cost him the victory.
High Desert scored in the fifth to tie the game, but the Storm regained the lead in the seventh. Mavs reliever Grady Wood, who had walked just four batters in the previous 86 he had faced, issued back-to-back free passes to B.J. Guinn and Benji Gonzalez to begin the inning. John Nester executed a textbook sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position, and two batters later Baltz came through with a tw0-out, two RBI single to give Lake Elsinore the lead for good.
Matt Shepherd worked two scoreless innings in relief to earn his second win of the season.
Trevor Gott notched his league-leading twelfth save of the season, and the Storm (27-19) were victorious in game one of a three game set with High Desert (25-21).
Baltz recorded the only multi-hit night for the Storm, his third such game on the home stand. Renfroe’s first inning double was his twelfth of the season and earned him his team-leading twenty-ninth RBI in 2014.
Reigning California League Pitcher of the Week Bryan Rodriguez (0-3, 2.54 ERA) gets the start for the Storm tomorrow in search of his first win of the season. Dylan Unsworth (3-3, 5.05 ERA) will go for the Mavericks. First pitch is slated for 6:05pm.
In light of the recent fires in San Diego County, all first responders will receive a complimentary ticket to tomorrow and Thursday’s game. Simply bring your badge or work I.D. to the box office to receive your ticket.