In the first inning, Cory Luebke got of to a rough start but was able to escape out of a potentially disastrous inning with the bases loaded and one out, striking out the next batter and then getting the third baseman to pop out weakly to short.
“He regrouped from a tough first inning. He used his fastball, pitched inside; he did what we wanted him to do,” said Storm manager Carlos Lezcano.
The first inning was the best threat the JetHawks cold manage for the game as Luebke went seven strong innings allowing only one run and giving up one walk while striking out six.
The Storm opened their scoring with a second inning home run by shortstop Lance Zawadzki, his 10th of the year to right-center.
In the bottom of the fourth Storm third baseman Logan Forsythe, who entered the game as the Cal League leader in on-base-percentage, singled and was driven home with a double by Zawadzki, who is among the league leaders in RBIs despite not starting the year until mid-April.
Zawadzki, who had been in a slight slump coming into the game, added to his team high 17 extra-base hits total.
“It was mainly working before the game on a tee and just taking nice easy swings,” said Zawadzki. “Also I had gotten away from being aggressive early in the count; sometimes the best pitches you are going to see are the first couple.”
In the bottom of the fourth, center fielder Brad Chalk executed a perfect hit-and-run with left fielder Danny Payne to put runners on first and third with one out. Second baseman Andy Parrino then hit a hard liner to right but it was enough to score the speedy Payne tagging up from third.
Luebke faced problems in the top of the sixth when top Astros prospect catcher Jason Castro doubled off of the right field wall. After designated hitter Koby Clemens [yes,the son of Roger] walked, Castro was picked off of second by Luebke who then finished off the next batter with a called third strike.
With two outs in the sixth, the Storm staged a two out rally with two straight singles to right. Catcher Luis Martinez also singled to right but was thrown trying to stretch a single into a double. However, right fielder Angel Mercado was able to cross the plate before the out was recorded.
In the top of the eighth, Lancaster mounted a rally loading the bases on the back of a single and two walks, but Storm closer Bryan Oland came in and got JetHawks third baseman Flores to tap out weakly to Zawadzki.
Oland returned for the ninth to strike out the first two batter before getting the last batter to tap out to first to earn his league leading thirteenth save of the year.
The Storm also provided their pitching staff with a solid defensive effort, playing a clean, flawless game in the field.
“We stress our defense quite a bit. If we want to win we have to play hard, throw strikes and play defense,” said Lezcano.
“That needs to be there every night, and tonight they did a very good job.”
Padres outfielder/first baseman Cliff Floyd was on a rehab assignment as the DH and went 1-4 with a single.