In a time of recent uncertainty, one thing is now certain: the Lake Elsinore Storm Baseball organization is happy to be back. Earlier this year it was confirmed that the Storm will continue to play ball as an affiliate of the San Diego Padres and after a tough year without baseball at the Diamond due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Storm’s 2021 season is off to a great start.

The Lake Elsinore Storm (5-1) headed to Visalia last week, and not only won their first game of the season against the Rawhide by a final score of 8-7 but went on to win five straight in their six-game opening series. Both teams met in the 2019 California League Championship, which went the way of Visalia, so the Storm were looking to make a statement. Which they did.

The Lake Elsinore Storm, who won five of their first six games on the road last week, will be back on their home field for the first time in over a year against the Inland Empire 66ers this week. Valley News/Courtesy photo

This week, the Diamond in Lake Elsinore will once again be open for business and the staff has a lot to be excited about. Since the end of the 2019 season, the facility has added several major upgrades to enhance the fan experience even further. The stadium has upgraded its two outfield video boards which will now be run with all new state of the art tech with a brand-new production booth with increased audio and video capabilities running throughout the Diamond. New LED stadium field lights enhance the viewing experience to a level far above Class-A standards. The Diamond Taproom, a year-round restaurant, opened at the stadium, with a huge patio overlooking the field with great views of the video boards and dozens of TVs of its own. The stadium, whose fans voted it “Best of the Ballparks 2021” on BallparkDigest.com, clearly earned the title before any of these exciting new features were added.

In 2020, the Storm brought unique entertainment to the Diamond as they adapted to an unprecedented year. The Diamond Drive-In brought movies to its parking lot, and Diamond Drive-In: Live in Concert! showcased top tier tribute bands in a safe but exciting environment. Christine Kavic, the Lake Elsinore Storm CFO, and co-General Manager, says the Storm plans to continue both movies and concerts in 2021 in new and exciting ways.

At the start of the 27th season as a member of Major League Baseball, in a Class-A Minor League branch, the Storm home opening series will be against the Inland Empire 66ers this week. After a long year off, Lake Elsinore looks to continue to chase their fourth league title in 2021. An affiliate of the San Diego Padres since 2001, notable alumni to wear the Storm uniform since then include Jake Peavy and Cory Kluber, the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner. For more information on the Lake Elsinore Storm, and to check game times for this week, and beyond, visit www.stormbaseball.com.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.