Winning a playoff series to advance to to the FCSL Championship game at Tropicana Field is special, but doing it at home in front of the Lightning faithful means that much more.
“It’s a credit to our guys,” Lightning head coach Rich Billings said. “They gave themselves a chance to be here and advance to the championship with the home crowd behind them. The atmosphere will be full of excitement.”
Blake Sanderson (Florida Atlantic) takes the mound for Leesburg tonight.
Sanderson has faced the Boom once — on July 2. In that start, he earned the no-decision while giving up two runs, zero earned, on four hits in six strong innings. He walked two and struck out five.
“He has been really good for us,” Billings said. “Blake’s numbers are the best out of the three starters. He has been reliable and we know he is going to give us his best stuff tonight.”
Billings wants Sanderson to be as comfortable as possible on the mound, therefore, Jeffrey Crisan (Lipscomb) gets the call behind the dish tonight.
“That’s who Blake likes pitching too,” Billings said. “The ball was in court. With a chance to clinch in front of our home crowd, I wanted to make sure our pitcher and catcher are on the same page.”
Billings’ Key Points
For the first time all year long, I don’t know I need to tell them anything,” Billings said. “They know what’s at stake and will do what they have to do to win this ball game.”
1. Austin Simmons-CF, 2. Josh Pagliei-SS, 3. Doug Teegarden-3B, 4. Tanner Long-RF, 5. Wes Weeks-DH, 6. Gustavo Rios-1B, 7. Seth Cunningham-LF, 8. Jeffrey Crisan-C, 9. RJ Warnock-2B
On the mound: Blake Sanderson