LAKE ELSINORE – A pitchers’ duel between two of the top pitching prospects in the California League lived up to expectations in a game that ultimately saw the Lancaster JetHawks fall to the Lake Elsinore Storm, 3-1, in 10 innings on Tuesday night at The Diamond.
Gabriel Arias hit the first pitch he saw to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning over the centerfield wall to give the Storm the victory. The walk-off homer came against reliever Braxton Lorenzini (0-2).
Ryan Rolison started the game for the JetHawks (8-11) against Storm (10-9) left-hander MacKenzie Gore. Rolison, the Rockies’ first-round pick in last year’s draft, was making his High-A debut after dominating in three starts with Low-A Asheville to begin the season. Gore entered the game ranked as the top pitching prospect in San Diego’s system.
The JetHawks go an early run against Gore on a Ryan Vilade first-inning sac fly. Matt Hearn (pictured above) led off with a single and went to third on a Matt McLaughlin hit. Gore would settle in, and Lancaster would not score another run in the game.
Rolison was settled in from his first pitch. He struck out the first two batters he faced and went on to toss six-scoreless innings. He allowed two total hits, a bloop single in the second inning and a bunt single in the sixth inning, and did not issue a walk. He tied a career-high with seven strikeouts.
Gore would end up striking out nine batters over six innings. At one point he struck out seven-straight.
Salvador Justo took over for Rolison in the seventh inning, and the Storm immediately tied the game. Justo walked Tirso Orenals to start the inning, and Luis Campusano promptly doubled him home. Moises Ceja tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen following Justo.
Steven Wilson and J.C. Cosme each threw two scoreless innings of relief for the Storm. Cosme (1-0) retired all six batters he faced, five via strikeout, to earn the win.
The JetHawks have not scored in any of their four offensive extra innings this season despite beginning each extra inning with a runner at second base. They are 0-3 in extra-innings games.
The series continues on Wednesday night in Lake Elsinore. Garrett Schilling is scheduled to start for the JetHawks against Mason Thompson. First pitch is 6 p.m.