Rancho Cucamonga, CA - The Force was not with the Quakes on Safeco Insurance Star Wars Night, as Rancho fell to Lake Elsinore 6-3 at LoanMart Field on Saturday. It was just Rancho's eighth loss in 23 May games.
A crowd of 4,463 was treated to an entire night dedicated to the Star Wars films at LoanMart Field. Darth Vader threw out the first pitch using the Force before the game, and that was just the start. Rancho's special jerseys were auctioned off during the game with proceeds going to the Alzheimer's Association - California Southland Chapter.
On the field, Fabio Martinez (2-3, 4.06) was flawless in his first three innings. He retired the first nine men he faced, striking out six. Lake Elsinore finally got a runner on in the third inning, but Martinez kept the Storm off the board.
Lake Elsinore (30-20) broke the scoreless tie in the fifth inning. They loaded the bases with two outs for shortstop Diego Goris. With a full count, Goris smashed a grand slam over the left field fence to give the Storm a 4-0 lead. They added an unearned run in the fifth to go up by five.
Rancho Cucamonga (23-27) had opportunities to score, but the Quakes left runners on base in each of the first five innings without plating a run. The Quakes had runners on second and third with no one out in the fourth inning, but Lake Elsinore's Colin Rea (5-2, 3.33) retired the next three men to end the threat.
The Quakes finally got on the board in the seventh inning. With two outs, Jeremy Rathjen and Leo Rodriguez drew consecutive walks. Rob Garvey, the next batter, smoked his fourth homer of the year to right field. He had six career long balls in his minor league career entering 2014. Rancho trailed 5-3 after the blast.
That was as close as Rancho would get. Hunter Renfroe led off the eighth inning with a home run off of Geoff Brown to give the Storm a 6-3 lead. Lake Elsinore closer Trevor Gott pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 14th save.
Corey Seager extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a ground-rule double in the first inning, but his streak of multi-hit contests came to an end at six. He leads the league with a .371 average.
The third game between the Quakes and Storm is Sunday afternoon, as Rancho looks to avoid a first series loss in May. Chris Anderson (2-4, 5.52) takes the mound for Rancho against righty Bryce Morrow (1-0, 3.33) for the Storm. First pitch is at 2:05 pm and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1350 starting with the LoanMart Pregame Report at 1:50 pm.
Sunday is the final U.S. Bank Youth Clinic of 2014. Any young fan with a ticket can participate and learn baseball from Quakes' players and coaches thanks to U.S. Bank! Registration starts at 9 am at LoanMart Field and the clinic begins at 10 am. After the afternoon game, kids will have the opportunity to run the bases on the field thanks to The Cove Waterpark! Tickets are still available by calling (909) 481-5000 or going online to rcquakes.com. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field soon! Go Quakes!