The Lake Elsinore Storm took game two of the California League Championship Series on Friday evening in walk-off fashion to secure a 2-0 series lead heading back to Stockton. The Storm defeated the Ports 3-2 in the tenth inning with a Reymond Fuentes sacrifice fly that plated Jonathan Galvez. The series returns to Stockton Saturday evening for game three.
The Ports took the early lead and seemed set to even up the series but their bullpen could not hold on and a tenth error doomed them. Michael Choice got the scoring going in the first inning with a solo home run off Jerry Sullivan. Choice was 2-for-5 on the evening and is hitting .415 in the postseason. The Ports added a second run in the fifth inning when Conner Crumbliss singled in lead-off man Myrio Richard.
Ports starter Robert Gilliam put together a fantastic start lasting seven innings and giving up one run on four hits while striking out seven. Unfortunately his bullpen could not hold up the lead. With the score 2-1 Ports, Connor Hoehn walked Jake Blackwood, gave up a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Galvez and then gave up an Edinson Rincon double to score Hoehn and even the game at two apiece.
Both sides went down in the ninth but then the Ports appeared to have a rally going in the tenth. Conner Crumbliss walked and then advanced to third on a Michael Choice single. The Storm intentionally walked Anthony Aliotti to load the bases with nobody out. The Ports then managed to go down flailing in order with a pop-up to short, a strikeout and a groundout to the pitcher.
The Storm led off the bottom of the tenth with a single by Jonathan Galvez. Third baseman Michael Gilmartin attempted to make a play but committed an error, which allowed Galvez to advance to second. Danny Payne successfully sacrificed Galvez to third, after which the Ports intentionally walked Rymer Liriano. Unfortunately the Ports could not get Reymond Fuentes into an easy out as he hit a sacrifice fly to left field which scored Galvez.
Game three of the series is at 7:05pm PT on Saturday evening in Stockton at Banner Island Ballpark. Tickets are still available at the Ports website.