Cal League Baseball: Potential Playoff Bid for Storm



Storm will Close Out the First Half of the Season at Home
By Matt Rodriguez

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. – Looking to build off a 7-2 start to June, Lake Elsinore returns to The Diamond two games up in the division standings with just seven games left to decide a first half champion. Their fate is in their hands as their seven-game home stand features two South Division opponents in Rancho Cucamonga and Lancaster.

The eyes are 6-8 against the Quakes this season, but California League All-Star Hudson Potts has found plenty of success facing Rancho Cucamonga pitching. Potts is 17-for-51 (.333) with eight extra-base hits and seven RBIS.

Looking to continue recent success at the dish includes Nate Easley, Kelvin Melean, Luis Torrens and Brad Zunica. In his last five games, Melean is hitting .438 while Easley is 10-for-31 over his last eight starts. Torrens is 13-for-38 (.342) in his last nine with seven runs and a long ball. From the left side, Zunica has provided a lot of power as of late. The tall first baseman has four home runs in his last 35 at-bats, giving him eight on the year.

Lake Elsinore will be more than happy to welcome the Lancaster JetHawks to The Diamond to close out the first half. The Storm are 6-4 against the JetHawks, hitting .314 in those ten matchups. Hitting above .300 with at least 20 at-bats against Lancaster are Easley (.333), Ruddy Giron (.318), Marcus Greene Jr. (.333), Kelvin Melean (.333), Edward Olivares (.410), Potts (.387), Buddy Reed (.389) and Zunica (.306).

From the mound, starters Michel Baez, Ronald Bolanos and Chris Paddack look to build off strong recent outings. Baez tossed six shutout innings in his last start, facing the minimum while only allowing one hit and collecting eight punchouts. Bolanos went seven innings for the first time all season on Sunday, giving up just one earned run while tallying eight strikeouts.

Paddack is coming off another solid showing, where he went 5.2 innings and surrendered just three hits while collecting 10 K’s.

Recently returning to Lake Elsinore is two-time Cal League All-Star Colby Blueberg. In his four appearances with the Storm this season, Blueberg is already 2-0 with five shutout innings and six strikeouts.

Join us at The Diamond for the fifth season of GEEKend, sponsored by MLB The Show, Only on Playstation. Thursday’s festivities will feature $2 domestic draft beers and sodas, while we urge fans to dress in costume for Nerd Out Night for a free ticket. Friday is another fireworks night and is also Superhero Night. Dress as your favorite superhero for a free ticket and stick around after the game for fireworks.

Star Wars Night is back with a “Black Trooper” Storm hat giveaway to the first 1,000 fans. Get to the ballpark early for a Star Wars character meet and greet and a pregame lightsaber battle. Disguise yourself as your favorite Star Wars character for the night for free admission. GEEKend 5 wraps up Sunday with Gamer Night. Come enjoy video games set up around the concourse. Military, active and retired, can enjoy up to four FREE tickets on Sunday with a valid proof of I.D. at the ticket window. Stick around after the game Sunday for kids run the bases.

As part of GEEKend 5, a blood drive will be set up at The Diamond on Friday and Saturday to benefit the San Diego Blood Bank. Those who donate will receive a “Black Trooper” Storm hat and a ticket to the game. Take part in our raffle as well. Fans will have a chance to win a Playstation 4 each of the four GEEKend nights.

For tickets, visit stormbaseball.com or call 951-245-HITS.

Press Release Provided By the Lake Elsinore Storm

File Photos by Scott Padgett & Mike Clary

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