LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Looking to finish the regular season on a high note and win the closing series against Lancaster, the Storm on Monday rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to stun the Jethawks, 4-3, at The Diamond. After a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Alison Quintero got the Padres' affiliate within one run, team co-MVP Gabriel Arias hit a two-out, two-strike, two-run home run to left field, a 415-foot blast for his team-leading 17th of the season to help propel Lake Elsinore to the come-from-behind victory.
RHP Mason Fox pitched a scoreless top of the eighth to improve to 2-0. LHP Cody Tyler, with the potential tying run at first base and one out, earned his second save of the series and ended the ballgame with back-to-back strikeouts as the Storm won a series for the sixth time in their last seven opportunities.
The Storm will have a day off on Tuesday before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers' affiliate, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, in the California League South Division Finals. The first two games of the best-of-five series will be in Lake Elsinore on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:00pm and Thursday, September 5 at 7:00pm before the series shifts to LoanMart Field on Friday at 7:05pm. If necessary, Game 4 and Game 5 will be in Rancho Cucamonga.
Reaching the postseason for the first time since 2014, the Storm are seeking their fourth California League title and first since 2011. Lake Elsinore was crowned league champions in 1996 as an affiliate of the Angels and also in 2001, their first season as a Padres' affiliate.
Including 2019, the Storm have made the playoffs 13 of 19 season as the Padres' Advanced-A affiliate. The team improved to 73-65 overall and 38-32 in the second half, while posting a 40-29 record at home.
LHP Fred Schlichtholz: First professional start, 2.2 IP, zero runs, zero hits, five strikeouts
DH Allen Cordoba: 2-3, finished fifth in the league in batting (.301)
SS Eguy Rosario: 2-4, one triple, one run
3B Gabriel Arias: 1-4, one home run (17), two RBI (75, 3rd in league), finished 4th in batting (.303)
WP: Mason Fox (2-0)
LP: Nate Harris (4-6)
Save: Cody Tyler (2)
HR: LE: Arias (17th, two-run, B8) | LAN: Castro (26th, two-run, T6)
The Storm begin the California League playoffs in Lake Elsinore against Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday, September 4 at 6:00pm. RHP Garrett Richards will start on a rehab assignment against Quakes RHP Gerardo Carrillo. Game Two on Thursday begins at 7:00pm and features Storm RHP Reiss Knehr against LHP John Rooney. Storm playoff tickets can be purchased for $5 per ticket. For the best available seats buy online at stormbaseball.com or call 951-245-4487.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.