The Lake Elsinore Storm were looking a 5-1 series deficit square in the face before a magical 9th inning saw the home team score a remarkable 7 total runs. This scoring outburst was punctuated by a 3 RBI home run over the Ad Monster from Albert Fabian. Before this occurred,
The Lake Elsinore Storm were looking a 5-1 series deficit square in the face before a magical 9th inning saw the home team score a remarkable 7 total runs. This scoring outburst was punctuated by a 3 RBI home run over the Ad Monster from Albert Fabian. Before this occurred, today's game saw plenty of twists and turns.
It began much how it ended; with a literal bang. The San Diego Padres #4 overall prospect, Samuel Zavala, slammed a home run over the Ad Monster in right field to put the Storm up a run in the very first inning. Meanwhile, Austin Krob once again was pitching a Sunday afternoon game and just as he had in the previous homestand, he twirled a gem.
Krob went six innings, the longest of the season thus far, struck out five batters, and allowed just one earned run. This run came in the fourth inning when Jorge Puerta shot a double into left field that barely got past the diving effort from Charlis Aquino. He then struck out the player who homered twice in a single game yesterday and induced a flyout to Samuel Zavala before a two-out single brought Puerta home.
The Storm and Quakes would then both be held scoreless until the fourth inning. Unfortunately, the Quakes would score first and score more. Kobe Robinson took the mound in relief of Austin Krob and experienced his first tenuous outing of the season. After securing the first two outs he would allow two singles and hit the fifth batter he faced in the inning. He would walk in a run before allowing a single and then a passed ball to allow four total runs in the inning. Robinson had allowed just one earned run in over 10 innings of work prior to this appearance.
Albert Fabian and Griffin Doersching would get half of those runs back and in a hurry with back-to-back home runs that brought the score to 5-3.
The Quakes would then score an additional four runs in the top of the 9th inning off of pitcher, Cole Paplham. He would need Carter Loewen to get the final two outs and he would first give up two hits of his own before securing the outs he needed. It seemed as though this had all but secured Rancho Cucamonga's victory until a bit of magic swept through The Diamond.
Trailing 9-3 and having only scored more than the three runs they had already collected once in the series thus far, it seemed unlikely the Storm were to rally back. Luckily, the Storm care not for the opinion of those writing recaps or pontificating on outcomes that are beyond their control. It began with a single off of the bat of Griffin Doersching who homered earlier in the game. Then, a pinch-hit single from Jacob Campbell who had yet to appear in a Storm game this season.
Charlis Aquino, who has had mixed feelings about the officiating of the game throughout the series, didn't wait around to see strikes or balls and, instead, hit a single that scored the first run of the inning. Two consecutive walks would then score another which was enough to get the Quake's coaching staff off of the bench and onto the mound to have their reliever replaced.
Lucas Wepf would be that replacement, looking to hold a five-run lead without a single out recorded and the bases loaded. He would have to face the Storm's hottest hitter, Graham Pauley, and that notion was enough to get him to follow suit and walk in yet another run. Rosman Verdugo would hit a sacrifice fly, leaving runners at first and third with just one out and the Storm trailing by two.
Albert Fabian, who has been the team's most clutch player and leading steak (RBI) enjoyer, would step to the plate having already hit a home run on the day. After smashing the baseball that would soon leave the yard and be the game-winning hit, he ensured that he savored every moment. Holding his bat and head as high as his body would allow, his teammates exploded out of the dugout. They would celebrate every step around the bases, Samuel Zavala would slam his helmet in triumph before reaching home, and Fabian would be showered with gatorade and love as soon as he stepped on home plate.
This win was crucial for the boys in black and red. Instead of falling to three games back in the California League South standings, they now find themselves just one game back with plenty of games remaining to determine the first half winner and secure themselves as a playoff contender.
The Lake Elsinore Storm will return to The Diamond on May 16th for Trivia Tuesday.
-Written by Justin Jett