Lake Elsinore, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino got six shutout innings from their starting pitcher and three perfect bullpen frames in a 2-0 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm at The Diamond on Tuesday. The victory marked the sixth time in 2017 that the Sixers have shutout an opponent and as the Inland Empire trio took just 110 pitches to finish of the Storm and improve to 58-64 overall and 28-24 in the second half.
Inland Empire starter Joe Gatto (1-1) rolled for six innings on the mound for the Sixers allowing just three hits and two walks with five Ks earning his first Cal League win in his third start. He coaxed a pair of 6-4-3 double plays as he faced 20 batters in his effort tossing 75 pitches in the contest.
It was the righty’s second consecutive start in which he notched six shutout frames, as on 8/10 he got a no-decision against the Storm in San Bernardino. In the top of the sixth inning Inland Empire finally broke through a scoreless tie against Lake Elsinore starter Emmanuel Ramirez as Sixers’ catcher Jack Kruger drilled a doubled to left and then scored on Keith Grieshaber’s RBI single for a 1-0 lead.
Grieshaber finished 3-for-4 with the RBI and a stolen base and has six hits through the first two games of the four-game series. It was the lone run allowed by Ramirez (1-1) in seven frames as the righty gave up eight hits and three walks with seven Ks in a tough-luck loss. The Sixers added an insurance run in the ninth when Jake Yacinich tripled to open the frame versus reliever David Bednar and then scored for a 2-0 lead on Jordan Serena’s RBI single.
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Jahmai Jones added a double and a single as well as a walk and increased his hitting streak to 18-games. Southpaw Winston Lavendier tossed a clean seventh in relief of Gatto while Sean Isaac tossed two perfect frames with three Ks to close the game and tally his first Cal League save. Inland Empire’s bullpen has allowed no hits and just a pair of walks in 5.2 innings in the first two games of the set.
The series continues Wednesday at 6:00 pm and can be heard live on 66ers.com.