Elsinore blows series opener
The Storm carried a two run lead into the eighth inning but weren’t able to convert as they fell to Rancho Cucamonga 6-5 in 11 innings Sunday. They return home tied at 1-1 in the best-of-5 series to determine the Cal League championship..
After putting runners on the corners with one out in the ninth inning, closer Jason Ray induced a grounder to shortstop. While Jeudy Valdez was able to get the lead runner, his relay to first was late, allowing the tying run to come across. Although Ray bounced back and then worked a scoreless 10th inning, Matt Lollis came on in relief and surrendered the game-winner without recording an out in the 11th.
Tommy Medica continued his torrid post-season hitting. The Santa Clara alum went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, pushing his playoff batting average to .476. After starting the year in Ft. Wayne trying to work his way back into a defensive position in his first professional season, Medica has served effectively as the Storm designated hitter through the second half of the year. With shoulder injuries placing his future as a catcher in doubt, the slugger is doing all he can with the bat, posting a .944 OPS for Elsinore in the second half of the year.
TinCaps drop opener to Lugnuts
The Fort Wayne couldn’t get much of anything working Sunday afternoon as the TinCaps lost the first of their best-of-three series against Lansing. They now have to win back-to-back games on the road if they are to advance to the Midwest League Championship Series.
Staff ace Keyvius Sampson took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) over six innings of work. The 20-year-old righty, who averaged 10.9 K/9 over the regular season recorded four strikeouts and walked a pair.
Although Rymer Liriano kept up his assault at the plate, the rest of the offense fell silent. For the third consecutive game, Liriano went 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. His was the only extra-base hit for the TinCaps, and no other Fort Wayne hitter reached base more than once.
Zach Cates goes for the TinCaps in Lansing Monday night.