Cal League Baseball: The Storm Sweeps San Jose

Lake Elsinore Completes a 5-1 Home Stand

By Matt Rodriguez 

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. – The Storm got off to a fast start in the first of a six-game home stand that begin Tuesday night with Lake Elsinore taking on the Lancaster JetHawks. Star outfielder Buddy Reed set the tone for a great week for him and his teammates, leading off the bottom of the first inning with his sixth home run of the season. The home team would add another run in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead before trading zeroes the final five frames, thanks to strong relief efforts from Elliot Ashbeck, David Bednar and Darius Valdez.

Pitching did much of the same in game two on Wednesday night, holding Lancaster to just one run while the offense took advantage and provided four runs for a 4-1 win to take the series. Starting pitcher Michel Baez tossed six shutout innings before Blake Rogers, Emmanuel Ramirez and Valdez combined for three innings, giving up just the lone unearned run.

All six of Lake Elsinore’s base hits came from the bottom third of the lineup with Brad Zunica, Marcus Greene Jr. and Ruddy Giron each collecting a pair of hits. Zunica supplied the big pop with his fourth home run of the season.

Lancaster got one back on Thursday, in what would be a four hour game that went 11 innings in a 10-7 final. The Storm and the JetHawks exchanged leads throughout the night, sending the game into extras with a 6-6 tie. Lancaster would capitalize on four Storm errors, all throwing, to take the win. Giron and Zunica each collected a pair of hits to pace the offense.

Coming off a tough loss Thursday, Lake Elsinore would bounce back nicely on Friday night in the Storm’s first game of the series against the San Jose Giants. Reed once again lead the bottom of the first off with a home run, but the Giants would quickly get that run back plus another to take a 2-1 lead before Storm pitching put up seven straight zeroes.

Lake Elsinore tied the game in the bottom of the seventh before Eguy Rosario connected for the go-ahead home run in the eighth, which resulted in an altercation that broke out behind home plate after Rosario scored. The heated physical altercation resulted in three ejections, but the Storm would hold on for a 3-2 win.

Right-hander Pedro Avila tossed seven innings for the home team, striking out 10 for a no-decision. Reed, Rosario, Hudson Potts and Jorge Oña each had a pair of base hits in the win.

For the third time in the six-game home stand, Reed lead the bottom of the first off with a home run and the Storm rolled to another win, putting up runs in each of the first three innings. Holding a 4-2 lead, the Storm widened the gap to add some cushion with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. The bullpen struggled a bit in the ninth before Bednar came in the record the last out and get the save.

The good guys closed out the home stand Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 4,000+ in exciting fashion. San Jose jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the Storm struck for three runs in the bottom of the third, in large part thanks to Reed’s fourth home run of the home stand.

After the Giants tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth, zeroes were traded until the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Zunica connected for a line drive single up the middle that broke the tie as two scored. Bednar came in to get the final three outs and record his fifth save of the season, putting the exclamation point on a series sweep against San Jose and a 5-1 home stand.

The Storm returns to The Diamond for a three game set beginning Friday against the Inland Empire 66ers. It’s Hispanic Heritage Weekend at the ballpark; El Storm will be wearing special hats and jerseys to be auctioned off. Enjoy food and drink specials and unique cultural entertainment and get your tickets at

Press Release Provided By the Lake Elsinore Storm