LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - For the first time since 2014, the San Diego Padres' affiliate will have a chance to earn their fourth California League crown when the best-of-five South Division Finals begin next week against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
On Friday night the Storm began their final homestand, a four-game Labor Day weekend series against Lancaster, needing only one win versus the Jethawks to knock the Colorado Rockies' affiliate out of the playoff race and secure just the second postseason appearance for Lake Elsinore in seven seasons. Prior to that, the Storm reached the playoffs eight consecutive years (2005-12), winning their most recent league championship in 2011.
With RHP Adrian Martinez making his debut for the Eyes, the 22-year-old from Mexicali, Mexico was impressive in earning the clinching victory, throwing 76 pitches in six innings of work. He struck out seven, allowed one run and didn't walk a batter.
The Storm gave Martinez an early lead by sending eight to the plate in the bottom of the second inning against LHP Ryan Rolison, who was 3-0 in six previous starts against Lake Elsinore. The Storm plated four runs on four hits, scoring on a Tirso Ornelas RBI triple, a Jeisson Rosario one-out RBI single and a two-out, two RBI triple from former Storm and Padres' rehabber Franchy Cordero, whose extra base hit to right centerfield bounced off the glove of CF Matt Hearn to give the home team a 4-0 advantage.
Storm relievers RHP Mason Fox, LHP Fred Schlichtholz and RHP Jordan Guerrero (fifth Save) followed up Martinez' gem with nine collective outs, allowing only one run and one hit over the final three frames to secure a 5-2 win.
Including 2019, the Storm have made the playoffs 13 of 19 season as the Padres' Advanced-A affiliate. The team improved to 71-64 overall and 36-31 in the second half with three games remaining.
RHP Adrian Martinez: 6.0 IP, six hits, one run, seven strikeouts, zero walks, debut victory
RHP Jordan Guerrero: 1.0 IP, earned the Save (5th), zero runs, zero hits
3B Eguy Rosario: 2-2, one RBI (69), one run, two walks
CF Jeisson Rosario: 2-3, one RBI (35), one run, one walk (league-leading 84), one stolen base (11)
DH Franchy Cordero: 1-4, one triple, two RBI (2)
WP: Adrian Martinez (1-0)
LP: Ryan Rolison (6-7)
Sv: Jordan Guerrero (5)
HR: LE: None | LAN: None
The Storm play Lancaster on Saturday, August 31 at 6:00pm, Sunday at 5:00pm and then the regular season finale on Labor Day, Monday, September 2 at 6:00pm. Below is the 2019 California League Playoff Schedule as of 8/31/19. For the best available seats buy online at stormbaseball.com or call 951-245-4487.
South Divisional Finals (Best-of-5)
Game 1, Wednesday, Sept. 4: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Lake Elsinore Storm (6PM)
Game 2, Thursday, Sept. 5: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Lake Elsinore Storm (7PM)
Game 3, Friday, Sept. 6: Lake Elsinore Storm at Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (7:05PM)
Game 4, Saturday, Sept. 7: Lake Elsinore Storm at Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (7:05PM)
Game 5, Sunday, Sept. 8: Lake Elsinore Storm at Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (5:05PM)
Off Day: Monday, Sept. 9
North Divisional Finals (Best-of-5)
Game 1, Wednesday, Sept. 4: Visalia Rawhide at TBA (SJ/MOD)
Game 2, Thursday, Sept. 5: Visalia Rawhide at TBA (SJ/MOD)
Game 3, Friday, Sept. 6: TBA (SJ/MOD) at Visalia Rawhide (7PM)
Game 4, Saturday, Sept. 7: TBA (SJ/MOD) at Visalia Rawhide (if necessary) (7PM)
Game 5, Sunday, Sept. 8: TBA (SJ/MOD) at Visalia Rawhide (if necessary) (6PM)
Off Day: Monday, Sept. 9
California League Championship Series (Rotating 2-3 Format)
Game 1, Tuesday, Sept. 10: North Division at South Division (If Storm Advance - 6PM)
Game 2, Wednesday, Sept. 11: North Division at South Division (If Storm Advance - 6PM)
Off Day: Thursday, Sept. 12
Game 3, Friday, Sept. 13: South Division at North Division
Game 4, Saturday, Sept. 14: South Division at North Division (if necessary)
Game 5, Sunday, Sept. 15: South Division at North Division (if necessary)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.