Lake Elsinore, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers dominated the Lake Elsinore Storm at The Diamond on Thursday with a 12-0 waxing. The Sixers earned their fifth shutout of the season as Justin Anderson starred on the hill while his battery-mate Taylor Ward tagged two homers and drew two walks in a stellar effort that helped split a four-game set.
The Sixers got the rout going early off Lake Elsinore (62-62, 30-24) Eller Sanchez (0-2) as Michael Hermosillo singled to open the game and later scored on Jared Foster’s sac fly. Later in frame with Zach Houchins aboard Ward drilled a two run shot out to left giving Inland Empire a 3-0 lead. The Sixers (43-81, 20-34) had nearly a carbon copy of the first in the third inning. This time it was Houchins with the sac fly followed by Ward’s second two-run shot of the night to make it 6-0. Ward now has six homers on the season.
Meanwhile Anderson (8-10) was dealing as the Houston, TX native rolled over the Storm for seven frames. Anderson went seven innings for his third consecutive outing (allowing just two earned run in that span). He allowed seven hits and now walks while fanning seven batters.
The Sixers added a pair of runs in the seventh to make it 8-0 and capped it in the top of the ninth when reliever Ben Paullus served up a grand slam to right center on a 2-0 pitch to Michael Strentz to make it 12-0. It was Strentz’ second homer of the series and sixth on the year. The 66ers matched a season best 12 runs from 7/28, also against the Storm. Zach Hartman allowed a hit and struck one man out in two innings to complete the shutout. Inland Empire did not walk a batter.
Inland Empire opens a series at High Desert at 7:05 pm on Friday. The series can be heard live at 66ers.com and 1570 AM KPRO.
Photo by Mike Clary