Fresno, CA – For the second straight season, the Fresno Grizzlies (0-2) fell just short of a California League title, as they were swept by the Lake Elsinore Storm (2-0) in the best-of-three series. Lake Elsinore beat Fresno 3-2 in Game 2 of the California League Championship Series, claiming their first league pennant since 2011. The Grizzlies suffered their only series sweep of the season and finished 85-51 (2-2 in playoffs) in 2022.
In the top of the second, the Storm bolted home two runs. Tyler Robertson mustered a sacrifice fly to center, netting Juan Zabala. Then, Jakob Marsee poked a single to right, notching Albert Fabian. Marsee made it 3-0 Lake Elsinore in the seventh when he ripped a single to center, adding Fabian again. The Grizzlies plated their only two runs in the bottom of the seventh from a Sterlin Thompson homer to right field.
The low-scoring affair was highlighted by excellent pitching. Storm starter Victor Lizarraga (1-0) earned the decision after six and one-third sensational innings. The righty allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while fanning four. He worked through a few jams, including a bases-loaded one in the third. Lizarraga got Benny Montgomery to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play, ending the threat. Duncan Snider wrapped up the contest with two and two-thirds frames of scoreless ball. Snider permitted one hit and struck out three. The game concluded on a Braxton Fulford fly out to center.
Rockies #5 overall prospect Gabriel Hughes (0-1) pocketed the setback after three innings of work. He gave up two runs and punched out five, a career-high. Gabriel Barbosa followed Hughes with four magical frames. Barbosa yielded one unearned run and fanned three. Both Francis Rivera and Angel Chivilli tossed shutout appearances, combining to fan three Storm batters.
Despite the difficult defeat, the 2022 Grizzlies had an unforgettable season. Fresno won both halves of the regular season and were crowned Northern Division champions. The club broke numerous team and individual records, especially on the offensive side of the ball. We are so grateful for the continued support from the amazing fans of Growlifornia and we can’t wait to see you all in 2023. We will be back with a vengeance.
Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)
– RHP Gabriel Barbosa (4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
– 3B Sterlin Thompson (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R)
– RHP Angel Chivilli…