Seminole County Snaps Lightning Win Streak with 6-1 Win
Date: Jul 15, 2020
By: Zack Smolen
Head coach: Rich Billings (116-98-1, 5-7 playoffs)
Assistant Coaches: Rich Billings Sr., Matt Swiderski
Returning FCSL Players:
Amir Asghar, P (Undecided)
Tanner Clark, C (University of North Florida)
Parker Pillsbury, OF/P (Southern Wesleyan University)
Carson Pillsbury, P/C (Santa Fe College)
Spenser Rich, OF (Daytona State College)
Lawson Schumacher, OF (Daytona State College)
Tyler Vermillion, P (College of Charleston)
Cameron Fredrick, IF (Creighton University)
I see this is an expansion team, what can I expect from them?
This isn’t your everyday new team on the block. The Leesburg Storm are flushed with leaders and veteran talent that will surely make them a competitive force in 2020. Catcher, Tanner Clark is returning for his third season in the league and has a bevy of experience at the college level and the FCSL. “He kind of knows that he’s one of the leaders of our team,” said coach Rich Billings, “the guys certainly respect him and look up to him.”
Parker Pillsbury is another returner that’s expected to help steer the ship of this new club. Last season, he was a consistent top-of-the-order threat, slashing .297/.398/.465 and a solid contributor on the mound, sporting a 2.45 ERA. Along with Amir Asghar, the returners and some new faces will be sure to help this club look like they’ve been here since the very beginning.
What’s this team’s identity going to be?
Hardnosed baseball. The Storm are a collection of Brett Gardner-type, grind it out ballplayers that will give their maximum effort on the field day-in and day-out.
Sounds great! But can you tell me without so many sports clichés?
I sure can! Overall, this is a squad whose effort will clearly present itself on the field in a way baseball fans of all ages will appreciate. The storm have a lot of fast, contact-oriented hitters, who lend themselves to an offense that will feature more stolen bases and hit-and-runs than we’re used to seeing in the modern game. “These guys will have something to prove,” commented Billings, “They’re going to be scrappers, guys that sort of just won’t go away…that won’t back down. [They are] going to be a really fun group.”
You haven’t talked about the pitching staff yet, tell me about them.
I was getting there! The Storm will feature a great group of talented arms highlighted by the young duo of Carson Pillsbury and Tyler Vermillion. Though he’s fresh out of high school, the younger Pillsbury has the stuff to get outs at this level. In his final two seasons at Seven Rivers Christian, he fanned a whopping 93 batters in just 53 innings (that’s 15.8 K/9 for those keeping score at home) and will look to continue that kind of dominance this summer.
Vermillion is a highly-cerebral pitcher who tailors his approach to attack the weaknesses of his opponents. “He knows how to pitch…[he] has a very specific plan every time he steps on the mound,” Billings mentioned when asked about the young righty. “He studies hitters, he watches and he looks for their tendencies and things that he feels that he can get guys out on, and then goes out and tries to execute that plan.”
So you’re saying I should watch/listen to as many games as I can then?
For sure! There’s nothing like watching a new team in it’s first season. The Storm is a group that is filled with local kids looking to prove themselves at this level, and that mentality, combined with their talents at the plate, on the mound and on defense make for a squad that will be a joy to watch all summer long.
To listen to/watch the Storm this season, visit floridaleague.com for the audio stream or watch live online with FloSports. Be sure to catch the team on those platforms on Opening Day when they’ll take on the DeLand Suns on June 29th at 11am EST, and give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and other fun content!