Eric Sogard went 4-for-4 and Kellen Kulbacki homered and drove in four runs Thursday as the Lake Elsinore Storm swept past the Inland Empire 66ers, 8-2, to advance to the California League South Division Finals.
The victory came after Lake Elsinore won the completion of a suspended game and propelled the Storm into the second round and a matchup with the Lancaster JetHawks.
Sogard doubled and scored on Kulbacki's two-run single in the first inning, then singled in the fifth and seventh. After Kulbacki's two-run shot in the seventh, Sogard plated two more runs with another base hit in the eighth.
Luis Durango went 3-for-5 and Cedric Hunter had two hits and scored twice for the Storm, who lost to San Jose in last year's Championship Series.
Lake Elsinore starter Nathan Culp (1-0) yielded two unearned runs on five hits while striking out four and walking two over 5 2/3 innings. Brandon Gomes allowed two hits and fanned four in two scoreless frames.
Inland Empire's Victor Garate (0-1) lasted 4 1/3 innings and surrendered four runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Matt Berezay went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the 66ers. Box score
In other California League action:
Stockton Ports 7, Modesto Nuts 6
Chris Carter homered and drove in two runs and Josh Donaldson hit a solo shot as the Ports staved off elimination in Game 2 of their best-of-3 series. Jay Cox collected three hits and scored a run for Stockton, which hosts the decisive third game on Friday. Box score
Lake Elsinore Storm 10, Inland Empire 66ers 7
In the completion of Wednesday's series opener, Brian Joynt drove in three runs and Mitch Canham went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored for Lake Elsinore. Box score
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.