LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - One night after being shut out, the Stockton Ports returned the favor on Wednesday night at The Diamond. Stockton got a two-run homer from Matt Olson and a strong spot-start from Jonathan Joseph (6-3) on their way to a 4-0 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Storm starter Adam Cimber (4-3), also making a spot-start, gave up a one out double to Daniel Robertson in the third. Two batters later Olson came up and hit his league-leading 36th home run of the year out to right field to give the Ports a 2-0 advantage. They were the only runs allowed by Cimber who suffered the loss after allowing four hits while striking out two.
Joseph, meanwhile, escaped a jam with two on and one out in the third and that ended up being his only jam of the night. Joseph picked up the victory after tossing five shutout innings, allowing two hits while striking out four.
After coming up empty-handed in a bases loaded, one out situation in the fifth, the Ports extended their lead in the sixth. With two outs and the bases empty, Bobby Crocker and Tyler Marincov hit back-to-back doubles to make it a 3-0 game. It was the only run allowed by Storm reliever Coby Cowgill, who allowed one run on six hits in five innings of relief.
Tony Rizzotti entered the game to pitch the ninth for Lake Elsinore and issued a leadoff walk to Crocker. Two batters later Robertson walked to put two on with one out. Chad Pinder came up next and struck out looking and on the third strike Crocker and Robertson executed a double steal. The throw to second from catcher Dane Phillips ricocheted off the feet of Robertson and deflected to the shortstop Jose Rondon. Crocker broke for home and beat Rondon's throw to the plate to make it a 4-0 game. It was the only run allowed by Rizzotti and it was unearned.
Andres Avila pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Joseph and struck out five while allowing only run hit. Nolan Sanburn closed out the game with two scoreless innings and allowed one hit while striking out two in that span.
The Ports and Storm play the rubber match of their three-game set on Thursday night at The Diamond. Tim Alderson (3-0, 4.50 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lake Elsinore right-hander Colin Rae (10-7, 3.86 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.