Storm collapses in on itself

The Lake Elsinore Storm had a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five California League Championship over San Jose but managed to lose three straight road games to the Giants, falling shy of their goal against a team that somehow squeezed two players onto the squad that likely shouldn't have been.

Spurred to a one-run lead in the first inning on a Josh Alley homer – the only player to get a hit in each of their playoff games – it was all the offense the dying Storm would muster.

Alley's single in the third inning was the last hit the club would get, erased moments later by a Sean Kazmar double play. Even Mike Baxter, who was hit by a pitch, would not stay on the bags. He was doubled off first on a Seth Johnston lineout.

The last 19 batters would go down quietly, beginning with Kazmar's double play grounder.

Richie Daigle, pitching on three days rest, lasted just 3.2 innings. He surrendered five runs on seven hits, including two homers that accounted for three of the runs.

San Jose went on to win by a final of 7-1.

It was the second time in three years that San Jose has bounced back from a two-game deficit to the Storm before winning the championship at home. The teams also shared the league title in 2001.

Mark Minicozzi, who spent 80 games in Double-A before joining San Jose for the playoff push, was named MVP after going 10-for-18. San Jose also had Fred Lewis playing in the series – a player that spent 51 games in the Major Leagues with San Francisco.


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