Tirso Ornelas found a groove down the stretch of the regular season that has followed him all the way to the California League Championship Series.
San Diego’s No. 12 prospect finished 2-for-2 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored to propel Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore to a 5-2 Game 1 victory over Visalia in the best-of-5 Finals on Tuesday at The Diamond.
In the second inning, Ornelas worked a six-pitch at-bat against Justin Vernia before crushing a double to right field.
With the Storm trailing by two runs in the fourth, the 19-year-old got the rally started when he stepped in against the right-hander again. Ornelas ambushed the first offering and sent a single into center that plated No. 19 Padres prospect Jeisson Rosario.
Ornelas drew a walk in the sixth and earned another free pass two innings later, scoring after 13th-ranked Tucupita Marcano drove a single to left.
The Mexico native had his best statistical month of the season in August, posting a .308/.357/.431 slash line with five extra-base hits. Ornelas has hit safely in all five playoff games he’s participated in this year, with two two-hit games on his line. Overall in postseason play, he’s batted 368 with a .961 OPS.
Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, rehabbing Garrett Richards allowed two runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts over four frames, which matched his season high in innings.
Right-hander Mason Fox allowed a hit and a walk while fanning two over two innings in relief to earn the victory.
Game 2 is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday in Lake Elsinore.
Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.