July 26-28, 2019

STORM vs. 66ERS

Following a three-game series in Lancaster, the Storm return to The Diamond for the final time in July as they play host to the Inland Empire 66ers for three games. The 66ers, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels will be making their fourth appearance in Lake Elsinore this season after the Storm took three of four back at the start of the second half. With 25 head-to-head games played, the Storm currently have the series edge 14-11, that includes a 7-4 record in Lake Elsinore. Even with the close head-to-head record, the Storm have the lead in many statistical categories such as ERA (3.58), batting average (.260) and runs scored (119). The biggest advantage that has gone the 66ers way is their ability to win games at home. They are 7-7 in this series, while winning five of the last seven.   

MORE ABOUT THE 66ERS: Following a last place finish in the South division with a record of 26-41 to wrap up the first half, the 66ers will look to rally and contend in order to make a run at the second half crown. As the Los Angeles A+ affiliate, the San Bernardino fans have been treated to some fan-favorite talent making rehab appearances at San Manuel Stadium such as outfielder Justin Upton, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, starting pitcher J.C. Ramirez, reliever Luis Garcia and reliever Keynan Middleton. Along with the rehabbers, Torri Hunter Jr., Oliver Ortega, Kyle Bradish, Jorge Tavarez and Andrew Wantz were selected to represent the South division for the California League All-Star game for the hometown crowd.   

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS

LAKE ELSINORE STORM

7/26 – Caleb Boushley - RHP

7/27 – Osvaldo Hernandez - LHP

7/28 – Gabe Mosser - RHP

INLAND EMPIRE 66ERS

7/26 – Kyle Bradish - RHP

7/27 – Travis Herrin - RHP

7/28 – Cristopher Molina - RHP

KEEP AN EYE OUT

Even though the month of July has posed highs and lows for the Storm, the entire roster continues to battle towards a second half playoff berth in the South division. Offensively, All-Star catcher Luis Campusano makes a strong case for California League MVP this season as his stats in the month of July match the hot southern California weather. In his last 20 games, the Augusta, Georgia native is batting .338 (27-for-80) with two home runs, 11 runs batted in and six doubles. As the San Diego Padres No. 12 prospect (according to MLBPipeline.com) provides pop in the middle of the Storm lineup, he also has his name at the top, or in the top-five, in many categories in the entire league. Campusano ranks first in batting average (.329), while within the top-five in slugging percentage (.519), on-base percentage (.395), total bases (164), hits (104), runs batted in (60) and doubles (25). Fellow All-Star Gabriel Arias, has matched his star-studded defense with his bat ever since the Storm returned to The Diamond on July 17. In nine games, the La Victoria, Venezuela native is swinging to a .395 average (15-for-40) with two home runs, nine runs batted in and seven multi-hit games. He now ranks second on the team in home runs (9), hits (96) and runs batted in (49). On the mound, southpaw Aaron Leasher has found himself leading this young Storm starting pitching staff, since the promotion of MacKenzie Gore to Double-A Amarillo. The former 6th Round Draft pick in 2017 is 8-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 18 appearances (15 starts) this season, but it has been his second half that turns heads. Leasher won his first five decisions while pitching a sub-one ERA (0.56) and 36 strikeouts in 32 innings. After a six-inning scoreless performance with a career-high nine strikeouts on June 23 versus the Inland Empire 66ers, Leasher was named California League Pitcher of the Week for the first time in his professional career. 

NIGHTS TO WATCH

This three-game homestand has something for everyone to enjoy as the Storm take on the Inland Empire 66ers. On Friday, July 26 it is Menifee Community Night, where Menifee residents can purchase $7 tickets (with their I.D.) while all fans after the game can be amazed by our on-field Firework spectacular. On Saturday, July 27, make sure you clean the dirt on your boots and wear your best cowboy hat as we celebrate Country Night at The Diamond presented by Twisted Tea. The first 500 fans (21 and older) will be able to sport a Twisted Tea Camo Hat. Country music and fun activities will fill the night as we pay tribute to 58 Strong and the victims and survivors of the Route 91 and Borderline Bar & Grill Shootings. Make sure to stop by your local San Diego County Credit Union and pick up your FREE TICKET as well as the night is also SDCCU Customer Appreciation Night. It all wraps up on Sunday, July 28 as the Storm aim to Strike Out Cancer. The first 1,000 fans will receive a “Strike Out Cancer” Storm Hat presented by Waba Grill - Temecula. It is also a Salute to Soldiers Sunday Funday as active and retired military members can receive four FREE tickets and kids get to run the bases after the game.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: AS WE SAY “ALOHA” TO THE FIRST 1,000 FANS ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, THEY WILL BE RECEIVING A THUNDER & MINI-THUNDER  HULA DOUBLE BOBBLE BELLY PRESENTED BY HP COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AS THE HAWAIIAN CELEBRATION ENDS WITH A POST GAME FIREWORK SHOW, COME BACK THE FOLLOWING NIGHT ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, AS A STORM HAT WILL BE HANDED OUT TO THE FIRST 1,000 FANS PRESENTED BY SHARP BUSINESS SYSTEMS. YOU CAN PURCHASE TICKETS AT STORMBASEBALL.COM OR CALL US AT 951-245-HITS (4487).

EYES ON THE OPPONENT

INLAND EMPIRE 66ERS: Infielder Mike Stefanic has feasted off Storm pitching in exactly 10 games this season. The Boise, Idaho native is batting .333 (12-for-36) with four doubles, four runs batted in and seven runs scored. Stefanic played in 22 games with the Burlington Bees (Midwest League) earlier this season where he struck for a .333 average and 10 runs batted in. Outfielder Gareth Morgan has added a thump to the middle of the 66ers lineup since he was acquired from the Modesto Nuts in June. Morgan has belted 18 home runs in his first 38 games, while carrying a .293 batting average, which has been one of his best career marks during that span of time. In a starter’s role, right-hander Travis Herrin has found success against the Storm starting lineup. In five appearances (three starts), the 24-year-old Indianapolis, Indiana native has gone 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 24 innings. In his last start against the Eyes, Herrin tossed a shutout through 4.2 innings, while allowing just two hits.