Storm steal series from Rawhide with four-straight wins

Visalia wins its first two games in deciding fashion before dropping its last four and first series loss of the season to Lake Elsinore

LAKE ELSINORE, CA – The winds were blowing in the Storm’s favor last week as Lake Elsinore handed the Visalia Rawhide its first series loss this year.

The Rawhide started the series with two strong wins before dropping the final four games of the series in Lake Elsinore. Visalia’s four-game losing streak began with the Storm breaking its four-game losing streak with a 14-3 win on April 14. Avery Short took his first loss of the season after giving up five runs (three earned) off eight hits. He was the only Rawhide pitcher of the night not to give up a walk.

The Rawhide pitching staff combined to give up 10 walks through six innings of work and the Rawhide hitters combined to strike out 19 times. The Storm led 5-0 in the sixth inning, but sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs.  Rawhide finally got on the board in the seventh inning when Junior Franco hit a double and Jacen Roberson scored. Two more Rawhide runs came in the eighth off a De Los Santos double.

On April 15, the Storm brewed another offensive torrent scoring 15 runs off 15 hits in the first five innings of play. It was the first loss of the year for Rawhide pitcher Joe Elbis, who gave up five runs in two innings.

The Rawhide had five hits in the game and scored one run in five consecutive innings beginning in the fourth. Junior Franco and Wilderd Patino both had two hits on the night. Deyvison De Los Santos hit his second home run of the season and it was the only extra base hit for the Rawhide in the game.

The bright spot in the Rawhide pitching staff is Eric Mendez. He threw two scoreless innings for the Rawhide and is the only relief pitcher who has not allowed a run so far this season.

The Rawhide lost 4-3 to Lake Elsinore on April 16 heading into the final game of the series on April 18, when the Rawhide lost another close game 7-6. The Rawhide had their chances to score in the final game of the series but left 16 runners on the bases. Three times the Rawhide had the bases loaded and only pushed across one run or less. Rawhide pitching staff gave up seven hits while walking five. The Storm pitching staff gave up seven hits and walked 13 batters.The two close games to end the series were the difference in Rawhide falling below .500 for the first time this season. 

The Rawhide’s last win was the opening game of its series with the Storm on April 13. Four Visalia players hit a homerun in the 7-2 win. 

Jordan Lawlar blasted his second home run of the season in the first inning for the early Rawhide lead. The Storm had their first lead of the season after the second inning, They scored two runs off two hits and three walks while Josh Swales, the Rawhide starter, was on the mound. That lead was short lived as Patino hit his second home run of the season with S.P. Chen on the bases. Shane Muntz hit his first home run of the season in the fourth. Oscar Santos hit his first of the season in the eighth with Jacen Roberson on the bases.

The Storm had their chances to score but left 14 runners on base. The Rawhide pitching staff walked eight batters while giving up three hits. The Lake Elsinore pitching staff walked two batters while giving up nine hits. 

Eric Mendez earned his first win of the season after pitching a scoreless inning and a third. He only gave up a hit while walking one batter. Listher Sosa picked up his first save of the season. The right hander threw three scoreless innings and was the only Rawhide pitcher not to walk a Storm batter.

The Rawhide opened the series on April 12 with their first road win of the 2022 season by a score of 10-3. Visalia came out swinging and put up three runs in the first inning against Storm starter, Ruben Galindo. He took the loss after giving up six runs off nine hits in three innings. Those other three runs came off the bat of Junior Franco in the third inning. He hit is second home run of the season to give the Rawhide a 6-1 lead.

Rawhide starter, Diomede Sierra, threw 3.2 innings in his California League debut. He only gave up one run off four hits and one walk. Carlos Meza relieved him in the fourth and ended the night with the win. Meza threw 2.2 scoreless innings, although he gave up two hits and walked three batters.

Visalia continued to tack on four more runs through the final six innings. Jordan Lawlar ended the night with four hits while driving in a run. Jean Walters had three hits and four RBI. The team combined for 17 hits while walking six times.

The Rawhide look to bounce back this week when they begin a six-game series against the San Jose Giants. Game 1 of the series was yesterday, April 19. Results of the game were unavailable as of press time.

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