Late Storm Rally Sinks Blaze, 8-4June 16, 2012 - California League (CalL) Bakersfield Blaze
Another big Friday night fireworks-thirsting crowd was on hand for a relatively exciting game, despite the mildly lopsided final score.
The Storm jumped out to a quick lead, scoring 4 runs on 7 hits in the first two innings off Blaze starter Daniel Renken (L, 3-3). With the team playing, perhaps, a step slow, the Storm pounded out a series of singles and doubles, and the Blaze pitcher and defense were unable to cut off a series of bouncers that wiggled into the outfield.
Bakersfield made it interesting, though. Juan Duran, Bakersfield's 6'7" leftfielder, put on a show for the fans. In the 2nd inning, Juan clubbed a towering shot over the leftfield wall for a solo shot, and, after the team rallied for one more run in the 3rd to make it 4-2 Storm, Duran hit his second shot of the night in the 4th. The second homer for Duran was a line drive bullet and gave the big guy 7 bombs on the season.
Juan wasn't done, either. After Lake Elsinore added an insurance run in the 5th, Renken's final frame, to make the score 5-3 in favor of the visitors, Juan doubled and scored for the third time in the game in the 7th.
Unfortunately, the Blaze would get no closer than that. Mike Griffin, the third Blaze pitcher, ran into a spot of wildness in his inning of relief. After setting down the first two batters, Griffin allowed 2 walks and a single to load the bases, and on a 3-2 fastball, with the runners going, Michael Wing doubled off the left field fence, clearing the bases and putting the Storm up 8-4, the eventual final score.
The loss drops the Blaze to 40-29, but, with the first half title clinched, the win meant much more to the Storm, a team still fighting for its first half lives.
The series with Lake Elsinore wraps up on Saturday night at 7:45pm, the final game of the season's first half, with Jerry Sullivan of the Storm taking on Chad Rogers of the Blaze, one of five Blaze All Stars heading to Winston-Salem for the All Star Game next week.
The Blaze will also be giving away 500 pairs of Blaze Logo Sunglasses, courtesy of El Pollo Loco! Seats are still available in limited quantity, so snap those up at BakersfieldBlaze.com and don't miss a potential last chance to see the first half champs before they are promoted!
Can't make it? Listen live on radio and internet at SmartTalk 1230-AM and BakersfieldBlaze.com, as Dan Besbris calls all the action live at 7:35pm.
California League Stories from June 16, 2012
- 66ers Fall 5-3 in First Half Finale - Inland Empire 66ers
- Giants Conclude First Half with 3-2 Victory - San Jose Giants
- JetHawks Erupt for 14 in 66ers Loss - Inland Empire 66ers
- Mavs Stay Alive, Defeat Quakes in 11 Innings - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
- JetHawks Strike Empire with 14 Runs - Lancaster JetHawks
- Jackson Jolts Storm to Victory - Lake Elsinore Storm
- Late Storm Rally Sinks Blaze, 8-4 - Bakersfield Blaze
- Giants Suffer 6-4 Loss to Modesto - San Jose Giants
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