Storm suffers first-half title hangover and Quakes take advantage

Lake Elsinore won the first-half South Division title with a 5-4 victory over the Quakes on Monday.

There was certainly reason to celebrate the third first-half title in the 17-year history of the franchise and automatic berth in the South Division Finals in September.

On Tuesday, the Storm sat two regulars and they didn’t have the same focus they had in building a 44-21 record. They committed six errors, their most since 2007 and the Quakes took advantage, scoring eight unearned runs in a 10-5 victory over the Storm at the Epicenter. It was also the most errors by any team in the league this year.

Here’s the breakdown:

1-Throwing error by third baseman Vince Belnome in the first on a Gabe Jacobo grounder led to 3 unearned runs.

2-Shortstop Drew Cumberland dropped a routine popup by Eric Oliver in the sixth

3-Left fielder Jaff Decker dropped Jon Towsend’s line drive in the seventh that led to an unearned run

4-Pitcher Robert Musgrave made a throwing error to first on Darwin Perez’s sacrifice bunt in the eighth that led to four unearned runs

5-First baseman Allan Dykstra made a throwing error to the plate on Townsend’s grounder with the bases loaded in the eighth.

6–After Oliver singled off Belnome’s glove to score one run in the eighth, Cumberland tried to pick up the ball and fumbled it, allowing a second run to score.

Lake Elsinore also commited a balk (which negated what would have been another error) and a wild pitch, had three baserunners out attempting to steal (out of five total attempts) and another picked off second base.

The Quakes? The league’s top defensive team committed just one error (a throwing error by second baseman Townsend in the first that led to 2 unearned runs), and threw out another runner, Cumberland, trying to stretch a double to a triple in the second inning. The Quakes stole three bases in four attempts.