Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lake Elsinore Drops Game One of California League Playoff Series

The Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres Single-A affiliate had a tremendous season. The team lost All-Stars Joe Ross, Hunter Renfroe and Diego Goris to a Double-A promotion, and outfielder Corey Adamson to retirement. Despite all of the changes, the Storm qualified for the California League playoffs, and were rewarded with a matchup against the Inland Empire 66'ers (Angels affiliate). 

The Storm got a solid outing from starting pitcher Bryan Rodriguez, but the bullpen could not hold the lead, and the Inland Empire 66'ers defeated the Lake Elsinore Storm, 4-2. 
The 66'ers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Angel Rosa, after Rodriguez allowed a two-out walk to Dennis Raben. The next hitter, Cal Towey singled to right. Rosa attempted to score on the play, 
but was gunned down by Storm right fielder Luis Domoromo. 

The first inning blemish was all that Storm starter Bryan Rodriguez. Rodriguez allowed just the one run, on six hits in six innings of work. He struck out three and walked three. 

The Storm took the lead in the bottom of the sixth, when they plated a pair of runs. After a leadoff single by Alberth Martinez and a walk to Benji Gonzalez, outfielder Jeremy Baltz tied the game with an RBI single. The go-ahead run scored on an RBI ground out from Dane Phillips. 

Powerful young reliever Tayron Guerrero came on to pitch for the Storm in the eighth, but ran into some trouble. Guerrero cracked the Padres Top-20 prospect list this season, and represented San Diego in the Futures All-Star Game. Guerrero did not look like an All-Star on Wednesday evening, as he walked the leadoff hitter. Guerrero then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the runner to move to second. Inland Empire first baseman socked a booming double to left-center, and the 66'ers took the lead. 

Raben delieverd an important insurance run in the ninth, when Storm outfielder Alberth Martinez attempted to make a diving catch, but was unable to make the play. The ball rolled to the wall, and Raben scored on an inside-the-park home run. 

The Storm were retired in order, as the 66'ers won game one, 4-2. 

The series will shift to San Manuel Stadium tomorrow night. The 66'ers lead the best-of-three series, 1-0.

Fort Wayne Wins Game One Of Midwest League Playoff Series

The Fort Wayne Tincaps, the Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, experienced all the plateau's that any baseball club can endure over course of a season. Their Opening Day starter, Walker Weickel, was demoted to short-season Eugene. The team lost 13 games earlier in the season. Tonight, after making the Midwest League playoffs as a wild-card, the team is just one win away from advancing in the playoffs. 

The Tincaps rode a clutch hit from second baseman Josh VanMeter, and the bullpen preserved a dramatic, come-from-behind 7-5 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate). 
The game started as a pitcher's duel as both Tincaps starter Jimmy Brasoban and Whitecaps starter Austin Kubitza looked strong early. Brosoban had a no-hitter through the first three innings, before allowing a single to Midwest League MVP Wynton Bernard. Bernard then stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on an RBI ground out. 

Fort Wayne took the lead in the bottom of the 4th on a clutch two-run double by designated hitter Dustin Peterson. His drive scored Franmil Reyes and Jake Bauers to give the Tincaps the 2-1 lead. 
West Michigan took a 5-2 lead on a pair of homers -- a solo shot from Domingo Leyba and a devastating three-run bomb from Bernard, Bernard went 2-for-4, with two runs, a homer and three RBI's. 

The Tincaps battled back again in the battle of fifth with a pair of runs to cut the lead to 5-4. Second baseman Josh VanMeter scored on a wild pitch, and Tincaps RBI leader Fernando Perez delivered with an RBI single. 
After tying the game in the bottom of the sixth, on an RBI single from outfielder Nick Schulz, the Tincaps had a chance to go ahead in the eighth innings. Dustin Peterson led the inning off with a single, and catcher Ryan Miller followed with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt, Josh VanMeter singled to left, scoring both Peterson and Miller to put Fort Wayne ahead.for good. 

Ryan Butler pitched the ninth to close out the win for Fort Wayne. The bullpen came up huge for the Tincaps, as Nick Mutz, Jason Jester and Butler allowed just two hits, while hurling 4.2 innings of shutout ball. 
The two teams will play tomorrow in Game 2 at Comstock Park, home of the Whitecaps. Fort Wayne leads the best-of-three series 1-0.