Storm 5, Bakersfield Blaze 4
Key Statistics: CF Franchy Cordero, 2-for-3, HR (4), BB, 2 RBI; LF Luis Tejada, 2-for-3, HR (4), BB, RBI; RHP Dinelson Lamet, 5 IP, 5H, ER, 4 BB, 3 K; RHP Ben Paullus, (W, 1-0) IP, 2 H, ER, K. RHP Colby Blueberg, (S, 7) IP.
Lake Elsinore, CA -- After spending the last two years in cold Fort Wayne, Franchy Cordero’s bat was as frigid as some the game time temperatures he faced. This year in California, Cordero’s bat is on fire.
The center fielder had a pair of hits, including a game-winning solo shot in the eighth inning as the Storm defeated the Bakersfield Blaze, 5-4, in the first game of the series.
Top pitching prospect Dinelson Lamet started and got off to a curious start by walking the first batter and then allowing a sharply hit single to right. Lamet was able to escape danger when he induced a ground-ball double play on a ball hit deep into the hole in short. Javier Guerra displayed his impressive range and made a difficult play look rather easy.
In the second inning Lamet hit the first batter of the inning and he started the third by walking the leadoff batter. Lamet struggled with his command for the first three innings but righted the ship in his final two innings. Lamet finished five innings and allowed just one run -- a solo home run. He did walk four and hit a batter. He ultimately took the no-decision.
The Storm took the lead in the second inning on a booming home run by left fielder Luis Tejada, his fourth of the year. Tejada 2-for-3 with a walk on the evening.
The aforementioned Cordero gave the Storm the lead in the sixth, when he drove a fastball up the middle for an RBI single. With two hits on the evening, Cordero is now hitting .283 on the season.
Lake Elsinore’s lead was short-lived as Bakersfield tied the game on a single to left, followed by a sacrifice fly by Bakersfield DH Chantz Mack that gave the Blaze the lead in the in the top of the seventh. The damage came against reliever Blake Rogers, who was added to the roster today from extended spring training.
The Storm regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when first baseman Trae Santos blasted a two-run, two-out triple that was hit off the wall in dead center off of Blaze reliever Vinny Nittoli.
Again, the Blaze came right back and tied the game in the eighth on a sacrifice fly that came against Storm reliever, Ben Paullus. Paullus made his first appearance on the mound since June 2, 2014, when he also pitched for the Storm.
Cordero put the Storm ahead for good in the eighth, sending a fastball well over the 36-foot wall in right. Reliever Colby Blueberg pitched a spotless ninth, picking up his seventh save of the season. He also pitched yesterday as well.
Notes: The Storm made a pair of roster moves, activating relievers Ben Paullus and Blake Rogers from extended spring training. To make room on the roster, RHP Aaron Cressley was sent to extended spring training and RHP Bryan Verbitsky was placed on the disabled list.
*Note: No one was made available for comment.