Storm fall in San Jose, 9-3

After winning their first five playoff games, the Storm stumbled to a 9-3 loss in San Jose Saturday night, hindered by shaky defense and an offense that couldn't come up with a clutch hit. The Storm still lead the best-of-five series, 2-1.

Clayton Hamilton, a 2004 draftee, got through the first two innings easily, striking out three on the way, but three singles in the third put the Giants ahead 1-0.

Still, Hamilton appeared ready to escape further damage when Brian Buscher lofted a fly toward the left field line, but Chris Kolkhorst overran the ball and lost his footing when he tried to adjust, allowing the ball to drop in for a two-run double. Buscher later came scored on a Brian Horwitz single to make it 4-0.

"[Kolkhorst] ran a long way to try to get that ball," said Storm manager Rick Renteria. Both player and manager agreed it was a ball which could have been caught – and that the failure to do so hurt the team. "If he catches that ball, it's one run."

After the Storm closed the gap to 4-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth, the Giants came right back. When a Guillermo Rodriguez leadoff double chased Hamilton, Ryan Klatt came on. After a sacrifice advanced the runner, he allowed a bloop single to Pat Dobson just over the head of the drawn-in Michael Johnson. Kevin Frandsen followed with a homer to left to put the game out of reach.

Giants starter Garrett Broshuis kept the Storm hitters off-balance despite falling behind all but one batter he faced on the night, working the corners with a steady diet of breaking balls.

"You've got to give him credit where credit's due," said Storm third baseman Brett Bonvechio. "He'd fall behind, and then hit a corner here or there and next thing you know, he'd get a groundball."

The Storm got on the board in the fourth when Bonvechio reached on a fielder's choice and came around on an RBI single by Brett Dowdy. In the sixth, Elsinore plated two on another Dowdy single and a Josh Howard groundout. Dowdy finished the night 2-4 with the pair of RBIs.

Although the Storm would get a pair of two-out walks in the seventh and put two more on in the eighth, they were unable to muster any more offense. On the night, they left 10 runners on base.

Chris Tierney, who had not appeared in a post-season game, entered in the eighth, but didn't record an out while facing four batters. After a double, walk and single to open the inning, he got a grounder that might have been a double play, but Michael Johnson booted it for an error to allow the Giants' final run to score.

Dirk Hayhurst relieved Tierney and finished the game with a strikeout and double-play grounder to record three outs on four pitches.

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