The two teams atop the Southern Division battled Thursday night with the home team High Desert Mavericks holding onto a two-game lead.
With the high-scoring Mavs taking an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, the Storm stormed back in the middle innings to pick up its thirty-second win of the season to stay within one of the Mavs for first place.
High Desert wasted no time jumping ahead in the game, scoring in the bottom of the first led by Mike McGee’s lead-off double to left field. After Mickey Wiswall, James Jones and Kevin Rivers singled, the Mavs came away with a 3-0 lead.
Both teams failed to score in the second and third as starters Matt Andriese for the Storm and Cameron Hobson for High Desert held batters at bay, forcing singles and no production.
In the fourth, the Storm picked up a run cutting away at the lead when Eddy Rodriguez hit his team-leading seventh home run of the season up and over the right field wall.
But it was the fifth inning that made the difference. Rico Noel led off with a bunt single and continued to steal his 40th stolen base of the season.
After Cory Spangenberg reached on an error at first base, Tommy Medica smacked his eighth double of the season to left field, scoring Noel.
Medica was 2 for 4 on the night with three RBIs, is currently batting .324 in just 19 games with the Storm and leads the team with a .703 slugging percentage.
Medica score along with Spangenberg when Rodriguez singled to center field to give the Storm the lead 4-3.
Rymer Liriano, who reached base on an intentional walk scored one more run in the inning for the Storm when Luis Domoromo singled to left.
Liriano leads the Storm with 35 RBIs on the season.
In the sixth, inning the Storm scored two more runs off the bat of Medica, who hit his sixth home run of the season with Justin Miller on base to give the Storm a 7-3 lead.
The Mavs would match that in the bottom half of the inning as Carlton Tanabe hit his first home run for the Mavs with one on to cut the Storm lead to 7-5.
The Storm picked up another run in the ninth when Liriano hit a solo home run over dead center to give the Storm eight runs on the night.
With last licks for the home team, in came league-leader in saves Kevin Quakenbush. After Ryan Quigley went two solid innings in relief, allowing two hits but no runs and struck out three, Quackenbush allowed a walk and a single but picked up his 12th save on the season and the win for the Storm.
Within one game of the league-leading Mavericks, the Storm now heads to Visalia for a three-game series against the Rawhide before returning to The Diamond for yet another three-game match up against High Desert beginning Monday, June 11.
*Contributed by the Lake Elsinore Storm