Storm squander opportunities in marathon

LAKE ELSINORE, CA: In the Storm's longest game of the year, Lake Elsinore wasted a strong outing by Jeremy McBryde and four hits and a home run by third baseman Logan Forsythe to lose to the Lancaster JetHawks 5-3 on Wednesday night in 17 innings at the Diamond.

The story of the game for the Storm offense was the amount of missed opportunities, stranding 16 runners in scoring position, including failing to score with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 15th with one out.

"It wasn't meant to be ours, we had our chances, we just didn't get it done," said Carlos Lezcano the Storm manager. "That is why guys that can drive in runs make a lot of money."

The bright spot of the evening for Lake Elsinore was big right-hander Jeremy McBryde who went, as Storm hitting coach Shane Spencer after the game, "a quick seven", allowing only three hits, one run against six strikeouts and three base on balls.

"He looked good tonight, he throws a very heavy sinker that is difficult for hitters to drive," said Dave Rajsich, the Lake Elsinore pitching coach.

For 15 innings, the scoring was limited to two solo home runs, one by Storm third baseman Logan Forsythe in the bottom of the sixth and the other by Jet Hawks catcher Jason Castro in the following inning.

And after that, nothing for a long, long time.

As the 16 stranded base runners will attest, Lake Elsinore had their chances; the best was in the 15th inning with the bases loaded and one out. The Storm put together three straight singles to load the bases with one out; . but then first baseman Justin Baum hit into a fielder's choice followed by a ground out by right fielder Robert Perry to third to end the inning to keep the score deadlocked at one.

In the 16th, the JetHawks finally broke the ice with the third solo home run of the night, this one by left fielder Jon Gaston, his fifth this year against Lake Elsinore.

After being held scoreless since the sixth inning, Lake Elsinore put together a rally in the bottom of the inning to tie the game as Colt Morton, who was brought in for catcher Luis Martinez after he strained a hamstring on his one out double, scored on second baseman Keoni Ruth's hard shot down the first base line that eluded the first baseman.

After 16 innings of shutout or one run ball, the flood gates opened in the 17th inning as Lancaster put up three runs. A leadoff double by light-hitting shortstop Chris Jackson followed by back-to-back errors by Ruth and Forsythe led to the JetHawks scoring. Koby Clemens added two insurance runs by driving a double down the left field line; his third hit of the day and he didn't start getting hits until the 11th inning.

The Storm staged one final comeback as Perry tripled with two outs in the inning and came home on a passed ball; but shortstop Andy Parrino struck out to end the game.

"You just go pitch by pitch. You can't go into the dugout thinking the game is over with or you are gone," said Forsythe. "It was tiring."

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