ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Leesburg Lightning (19-21) and Altamonte Springs Boom (19-18) begin a three-game set tonight from Lake Brantley High School. First pitch in a series with heavy playoff implications is set for 7 p.m.
The boys from Leesburg came back to earth last night as they dropped a close one to the DeLand Suns, 5-4. Trailing 5-2 in the ninth, the Lightning pushed the Suns to the brink with two runs to pull within a run.
Down to their final out, Tanner Long drove a ball deep into center field, putting a legitimate scare into the home fans at Conrad Park – Melching Field.
DeLand center fielder, Zachary Reks, tracked the ball down and made a phenomenal catch to end Leesburg’s rally and its five-game winning streak.
“We ran into a good team tonight, Head Coach Rich Billings said after the game. “They did all the right things and we just came up short.”
With the Winter Garden Squeeze stealing another game from the struggling Sanford River Rats on Wednesday night, the Lightning have moved back into fifth place — a half game behind the Squeeze for fourth place.
At 19-18, the Boom are a game and a half up on the Lightning and with their three-game set beginning tonight, the stakes could not be higher.
“With only four games left until the playoffs, we still feel like we’re in a good spot,” Billings said.
“Our destiny lies in our hands, and only ours.”
Lightning Starting Lineup
- Nixon – 2B
- A. Simmons – CF
- Scanlon – 1B
- C. Simmons – 3B
- Long – RF
- Bonilla – LF
- Baez – C
- Koenig – DH
- Pagliei – SS
On the mound: Chris Lake