Adelanto, CA - Less than 24 hours removed from racking up 23 hits en route to a 12-5 victory, the Lake Elsinore Storm continued their sweet swinging on Sunday, defeating the High Desert Mavericks 9-0.
A first inning score gave the Storm an early lead. Mallex Smith reached on an error, stole second and later scored after Benji Gonzalez's sacrifice bunt was misplayed.
That run proved to be the difference in the ballgame, as Storm starter Zach Eflin (W, 7-5) turned in one of his finest performances of the season. The Chuluota, FL native allowed no runs and just one hit through six innings of work.
Lake Elsinore added on in the fourth. Gabriel Quintana led off with a single, and after Quintana stole second Jeremy Baltz singled him home. Corey Adamson beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners, and Alberth Martinez plated Baltz with an RBI base hit. Smith loaded the bases with a single of his own, and Adamson scored after Gonzalez grounded out to give the Eyes a 4-0 lead.
With Eflin dealing, the Storm scored again in the sixth. Adamson recorded another single, advancing to third after Martinez did the same. With Smith at the plate, Mavericks pitcher Oliver Garcia attempted to pick off Martinez at first, but a missed catch by first baseman Jordy Lara allowed Adamson to scamper home.
The Storm bullpen returned to form with three shutout innings following Eflin's departure. Adam Cimber, Matthew Shepherd and Brandon Alger each worked a scoreless frame, allowing three singles between them.
A 5-0 advantage didn't stop the Storm from increasing their lead in the ninth. Smith and Gonzalez began the inning with back-to-back singles, and catcher Dane Phillips plated the speedy Smith from second with a base hit. Quintana followed with his twelfth home run of the season and second in as many days to put Lake Elsinore up 9-0, effectively securing the victory.
Smith and Martinez paced the offense with three hits apiece, and the former swiped two bags for the second-straight game. Quintana's two for five performance improved his series average to .500 over three contests.
The shutout was the fifth this season for the Storm (51-36), improving their record to 8-6 against the Mavericks (42-45).
Lake Elsinore goes for the series win tomorrow night in Adelanto. Colin Rea (6-5, 3.40 ERA) gets the ball looking to build on his recent success while Lars Huijer (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will go for High Desert. First pitch is slated for 7:05pm.