San Bernardino, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino could not hang on to a 7-1 lead late versus the Lake Elsinore Storm as the home team scored four in the eighth and won it 8-7 on Edwin Moreno’s three-run walk-off homer in the ninth. The Sixers are now 17-10 against the Storm on the season.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the third Jahmai Jones tripled in a run off the wall to tie the game and extend his hitting streak to 19-games. The 66ers (58-65, 28-25) took a lead in the fourth when Connor Justus and Keith Grieshaber delivered back-to-back RBI singles and Derek Jenkins added a sac fly for a 4-1 lead.
The Sixers added to the advantage in the seventh after Jones doubled and Kyle Survance Jr. walked they each came home later in the frame on an error and a passed ball. In the eighth the 66ers capped their scoring on Grieshaber’s RBI single for a 7-1 lead. Grieshaber finished the game 2-for-4 and is 8-for-12 in the series.
The lead was not enough. Inland Empire starter Jose Rodriguez tossed six frames allowing just one run on seven hits (two of which were lost in the sun and two were infield hits) with six Ks and no walks. He has fanned 19 in his last 12 innings pitched with no walks allowed. The bullpen did not have the same fortune as Austin Robichaux allowed three runs on just one hit in his 1.2 innings out of the pen with four walks and a hit batsman.
Nathan Bates (0-5) took the loss allowing four runs on four hits with two walks and the game-winning homer to Moreno, the Storm designated hitters 11th of the season. Lake Elsinore (57-66, 22-31) righty Gerardo Reyes improved to 3-2 with two innings of one-run work for the Storm. River Stevens had three hits for the Storm while Jones, Jared Walsh, Justus and Grieshaber all had two for the Sixers.
The series continues Thursday at 7:05 pm. The contest can be heard live at 66ers.com.