Leesburg Lightning split double on the road
The Leesburg Lightning parted ways with the Seminole County Snappers in two ball games Friday night at Sanford Memorial Stadium.
As the home team in Game 1, Leesburg lost 3-2 with a crushing blow in the final set. However, the Lightning dominated as an away team in Game 2 with a five-inning, 13-3 Grace Rule victory.
Trailing by one run in the seventh with two out, the Snappers delivered a two-run single to left field from right-handed pitcher Ivan VanBeverhoudt Jr. (Anderson) to take the lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Seminole County would shut down the Bolts in order to seal the win.
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Starting pitcher Layton Perry (Jacksonville) was once again sensational as he allowed just one run on two hits and five strikeouts. A solo home run by the Snappers in the third inning would be the only setback to his departure.
North Florida catcher Jakob Runnels hit his fourth home run of the season in the fourth inning to tie the game at one. Runnels was amazing in Game 2 and also went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs.
The loss would fall to left-handed reliever Zach Mizrahi (Daytona St) who struck out four but was responsible for the two runs in the seventh that would score for Seminole County. Mizrahi is 1-1 this season.
Game 2 was completely controlled by the Lightning as they posted six runs in the first inning, scoring 13 runs overall over the first four innings. Five straight singles to start the ball game followed by a grand slam homer from Travis Stapleton (Polk St.) would give Leesburg a 6-0 lead before even registering an out. Nine of Lighting’s eleven batters would reach base and score in the wire-to-wire victory.
The starting go-ahead went to Cody Bruns (Mars Hill in the nightcap contest as he picked up his second win of the summer, allowing three runs in three innings with a pair of strikeouts. Right-hander Tanner Walker (Saint Johns River St.) and crafty southpaw Cameron Sereda (Tampa) would close the game, pitching an inning each and combining for three strikeouts.
It was a stellar day for Lightning shortstop Ramses Cordova (Winthrop) as he dots baseball all over the park with a combined 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk through both games. His defensive game also continues to impress.
The Lightning move to 18-11 on the year and remain a game and a half out of first place in the Florida League standings with six regular season games remaining. They will face Seminole County for the home series finale Saturday night at 7 a.m. at Pat Thomas Stadium-Buddy Lowe Field.
Tom Cavanaugh (Michigan State) is the communications intern for the Leesburg Lightning.