The Modesto Nuts rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the tying run at the plate, but their comeback fell short as Lake Elsinore hung on for a 7-5 California League victory Saturday night at John Thurman Field.
With the Nuts trailing 7-2 heading into their final at bat, Collin Ferguson delivered a one-out homer – his 10th of the year – to make it 7-3. Dom Nunez followed with a walk and, after Shane Hoelscher struck out, Max White reached on an error to put runners at the corners. Nunez scored on a wild pitch, and White touched home on a single by Josh Fuentes.
At that point, Trey Wingenter relieved and earned his first save of the season by striking out Wilson Soriano.
After the Storm took 1-0 lead in the first, the Nuts took the lead in the second on Fuentes’ two-out, two-run double to left.
Lake Elsinore tied the score in the fourth and went ahead with three in the fifth. The Storm tacked on runs in the seventh and eighth.
Modesto starter Yency Almonte (5-7) allowed three earned runs – five total – and five hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked two.
Lake Elsinore’s Zech Lemond (2-3) fanned six and walked none while giving up four hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings.
Modesto, 5-12 in the second half, has dropped nine of 10 since recording its first three-game win streak of the season June 27-29 and is last in the league’s North Division.
The teams will play Game 3 of their four-game set Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Kids can play catch on the field before the game and run the bases after the final out. The series ends Monday with a 7:05 p.m. contest.