“I’ve played and coached in a lot of them and it is as much a mental as a physical grind,” Lake Elsinore manager Shawn Wooten said on how he kept his team motivated in what nearly was a doubleheader.
“What really impressed me about these guys was that they were as motivated as I’ve seen in a long time. They kept expecting something good to happen and it did.”
Lake Elsinore put runs on the board in the fourth on a home run by Luis Dorroromo and scored in the fifth on aggressive baserunning by Travis Jankowski and Cory Spangenberg. The Modesto Nuts tied the game in the sixth, and then it was a long drought.
Ex Santana High Alum James Needy started the game for the Storm and was effective early on before running into trouble in the sixth inning.
Other than the game winning hit, the highlight of the night may have been the performance of right-hander Colin Rea, who has been struggling with a 6.67 ERA and 25 walks in 27.2 innings.
In the eleventh inning Rea loaded the bases but battled back to strike out the next two batters and got the third to fly out to center.
“Part of the process of putting him in the bullpen was to build up his confidence and not allow him to dwell on the bad things that could happen to him between starts,” Wooten said on Rea.
“Its like a fresh new start for him. If that had happened three weeks ago that game is over. They score.”
“He’s fighting through some things and we are seeing him start to turn the corner.”
The Storm had numerous opportunities to end the game in extra innings with runners in scoring position but couldn’t get the big hit until they put together their rally in the seventeenth.
Storm Notes: Robert Kral caught all seventeen innings of tonight’s game and also caught all seventeen innings of the other seventeen inning game earlier in the week. Kral has been one of the big surprises in the organization this year and came into the game hitting .290/.415/.626.