LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - After a rough four-game trip up north in Lancaster resulted in three Storm losses, Lake Elsinore returned to The Diamond on Monday looking to rebound with a three-game series against the Inland Empire 66ers. Thanks to an outstanding effort by right-hander pitcher Jesse Scholtens, the Storm added another tally to the win column.
While it was Inland Empire's offense putting up double digits in the hits column, it was the Storm who plated more runs in a low-scoring affair.
Carlos Belen, who has lately found the power stroke, parked one over the left field fence in the second inning to bring the game to a score. The Lake Elsinore offense plated two more runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead which would remain into the ninth.
Scholtens came back out to the mound in the ninth to try his bid at his second complete game in a Storm uniform, but with two outs a single scored the first 66ers run and would take Scholtens out of the game after recording 26 outs.
With the winning run at the plate, reliever David Bednar came in to pick up the last out via the strikeout and earn his first save in a Storm uniform.
Scholtens allowed just the one run on 11 base hits and two walks while collecting five strikeouts en route to his fourth win with Lake Elsinore.
Tuesday night's game went the 66ers way as they were able to turn more base hits into runs and take advantage of early Lake Elsinore fielding miscues. Inland Empire was able to plate four runs in the second inning, only two of which were earned, and they never looked back.
Fernando Perez connected for his fourth home run with the Storm this season in the seventh inning, giving Storm fans a glimmer of hope to hold on to. The 66ers immediately erased that hope when they added four more runs in the eighth to make it an 8-1 game.
Chris Baker hit his fourth home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but hopes of a comeback of that magnitude were already slim to none and the 66ers would take the game, 8-3 to even the series.
The rubber match was a bit of a head scratcher for Storm fans, who witnessed the home team commit five errors to fall 4-3 and lose the series to Inland Empire, leaving everyone imagining what could've been.
A pair of Lake Elsinore errors in the first inning resulted in the first run scored for the 66ers, who would add on three more in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead, but the Storm would rally to score a pair in the bottom half of the inning and add another in the seventh to cut the 66ers lead to one.
The rally wasn't to be on Wednesday, as the Storm were sent down on order despite some solid contact to keep fans on their toes.
New Storm starter Adrian De Horta impressed with his stuff on the bump tonight, giving up an unearned run on just three hits and a walk while striking out nine through five innings.
Lake Elsinore hits the road for four games at Visalia before returning to The Diamond on Monday to play the Lancaster JetHawks and Modesto Nuts over a seven game stretch.
Get your tickets at stormbaseball.com or call the box office at 951-245-HITS.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.