LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - The Storm welcomed Rancho Cucamonga and Inland Empire to The Diamond for an eight game home stand and a chance to gain some ground on the South Division after a 1-3 start.
The losses continued into the first game; a Monday night matchup against the Quakes. Leadoff batter Ruddy Giron got the offense started for the Storm when he connected for a home run in the first Lake Elsinore at-bat of the night. The Storm offense would go stagnant for the next seven innings as the Quakes scratched across six runs in the middle innings.
A late ninth inning rally made the score close, as Lake Elsinore put together three runs to lose 6-4. Josh Naylor paced the Storm offense with a pair of hits.
The Storm would get back on track the following night, scraping together 10 base hits, including an outburst of three home runs.
After Rancho Cucamonga got off to an early two run lead, Javier Guerra and Carlos Belen connected for back-to-back home runs in the second to give the Storm a 3-2 lead. Belen added another home run, a solo shot, in the bottom of the fourth to give him his first multi-home run game of the season.
Lake Elsinore tacked on three more in the sixth, which proved to be enough run support to give Joey Lucchesi the win and hold off a late Quakes rally for a 7-5 final. Guerra, Belen, and Ruddy Giron all had two hits apiece.
A Wednesday matinee at The Diamond, an 11am game, was surely a treat to see if you're a fan of exceptional pitching performances. The Storm's Jacob Nix threw the finest game of his early career when he went the distance, tossing the first complete game shutout in the California League this season. Nix struck out a career-high 11 hitters without allowing a walk and giving up just two hits. He was perfect through 5.2 innings. He tossed his gem in just under two hours to give Lake Elsinore a 2-0 win.
After the Quakes' bats were silenced on Wednesday, they came out of the gates early Thursday night, plating six runs in the first two innings. Despite collecting 10 base hits, the Storm were only able to turn in three runs to fall, 6-3.
Guerra and Belen each had a pair of knocks, while catcher Wilfri De La Cruz paced lake Elsinore with three base hits and an RBI.
A late five-run 66ers rally on Friday night would be the deciding factor in a tough 9-6 Storm loss after losing the four game series at Inland Empire just a week ago.
Lake Elsinore would plate four runs in the first inning before the 66ers could record an out, but the 4-1 lead wouldn't even last a full frame, as Inland Empire quickly tied the game at 4-4.
The Storm would score a pair in the fifth, but the wheels came off in the eighth when the 66ers rallied for five runs for the come-from-behind 9-6 victory.
Taylor Kohlwey, Edwin Moreno, and Michael Gettys each collected a pair of hits, while Josh Naylor paced the offense with a three-hit game which included a two-run home run in the first inning that carried the 36-foot high wall in right field for an estimated 386-ft.
No complete comeback was in order for the 66ers on Saturday night. The Lake Elsinore offense once again struck early for three runs in the second inning before Inland Empire would tie it in the fourth. The Storm offense pieced together several hits on the fifth inning to plate five more runs and give Lake Elsinore a 8-3 lead.
A few costly fielding blunders put the 66ers within a run of tying the game in the seventh before Jose Castillo and Gerardo Reyes teamed up to shut the door on Inland Empire and preserve a 8-7 win.
Austin Allen drove in a pair of runs with his 18th double of the season, while Gettys collected a pair of hits to raise his average above .250. Guerra paced the Storm three hits; all singles.
Storm bats were quiet in front of the large Sunday crowd. Lake Elsinore could only scrape together a lone run on four base hits while committing two costly errors in the field.
Left-handed pitcher Logan Allen suffered the loss in his Storm debut since his call-up from Fort Wayne, despite not allowing an earned run. A comeback was not in the cards as the Storm fell, 4-1.
The Storm capped off the eight-game home stand with a thrilling 9-6 victory in front of a season-high 7,068 fans. Michael Gettys got the scoring started with a two-run home run and the scoring never stopped.
Taylor Kohlwey connected for his first home run of the year and added a double out of the leadoff role. Guerra owned the spotlight, though, with a 417-ft home run to go along with his fourth triple of the season and added a single to come up just a double short of the cycle. Boomer White added a three-hit game out of the eight spot.
The Storm finished the homestand .500 and return to The Diamond July 12 for a seven-game homestand against the Lancaster JetHawks and the San Jose Giants.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.