Lake Elsinore Storm

Storm Take Down Giants to Get Within 2 Games of Playoffs

September 2, 2023 - California League (CalL)
Lake Elsinore Storm News Release

The final seven games of the Lake Elsinore Storm season will be their most important of the entire year. That's because, after a late-inning RBI from Nick Vogt and a mind-boggling double play in Modesto, the Storm now sit just two games back of the Inland Empire 66ers for the final playoff spot in the Cal League South Division.

Their first run of the game came in the second inning when a Jay Beshears single to centerfield brought home Victor Duarte who was in a dead sprint to the plate. The next came after Homer Bush Jr. stole second base after numerous attempts to pick him off at first. Duarte would not touch home this time but bring Homer there.

Meanwhile, Enmanuel Pinales would be through six innings without surrendering a run or a hit. Manager Pete Zamora was willing to let him keep going as he ran out to the mound in the seventh inning, quite a long outing for a starter in Single-A. Pinales would, unfortunately, give up his first hit against the first batter of the inning. This hit wouldn't just be a base knock but be a ball that left the yard in a hurry. After surrendering a second hit, once again on a ball that left the yard, Pinales would finally get out of the 7th inning with a final line that included just two hits, two runs, and five strikeouts.

With the game tied, the Storm needed some more late-inning magic to collect their third victory of the series and stay within reach of the playoffs. So, in the bottom of the 8th inning, they sprinkled a bit of magic onto the field. As the Giants have done most of the homestand, they helped the Storm with their struggles on defense. Dillon Head would hit a soft grounder to first which, in large part to his speed, would become an error that got him to first safely. Homer Bush Jr. would then walk in the next at bat, putting Head in scoring position with arguably Lake Elsinore's best hitter coming to the plate, Nick Vogt.

Vogt would come through with a rolling double into right-centerfield. Bush Jr's speed would get him all the way home to take the 4-2 lead going into the 9th inning. Ruben Galindo would enter the game and give up two base hits, however, he would finish the night with two strikeouts to help the Storm climb within 2.5 games back of the 66ers. They too would assist Lake Elsinore's playoff odds as, on the final play of the game, the 66ers would run into not one but two outs on the basepaths. With two guys on base, what should have been a base hit into right field that loaded the bases with two outs, both runners over extended, and both were thrown out to cement the final score and put the Storm within just two games of the playoffs with seven games remaining.

The Storm will hope to continue their streak of success tomorrow afternoon in their final regular season game in 2023.

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California League Stories from September 2, 2023

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