LEESBURG, Fla. – The Leesburg Lightning (19-22) travel back to their home confines tonight for the second game of a three-game set with the Altamonte Springs Boom (20-18). The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Fatigue is setting in. Arms are getting tired. The hot Florida sun continues to beat down.
The playoffs are looming.
With just three games remaining, the Florida Collegiate Summer League regular season is approaching its finish. Three teams have already clinched playoff spots, but seeds 1-5 are up for grabs for anyone’s taking.
With that being said, the stakes are mounting and anything can happen over the next three days.
“Tomorrow’s a must win,” Head Coach Rich Billings said following Thursday night’s loss. “If we want to keep pace and accomplish what we’ve set out to do, no game is more important.”
Even though they faltered in the eighth inning on Thursday night and walked away with a 9-4 loss at the hands of Altamonte Springs, the Lightning moved into a fourth place tie with the Winter Garden Squeeze — both teams remain two games ahead of the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs.
If Leesburg hopes to move into third place and avoid the #4 vs. #5 play-in game on Tuesday, it must win its final three games and hope for some help in the process.
“That’s the goal, to avoid that play-in game,” Billings said. “With arms going down and fatigue really starting to become an issue, every team is vying for that 1-3 seed.”
“It’s going to be a scramble to the end.”
If there’s any team in the Florida League who is capable of winning out and carrying momentum into the playoffs, it’s the Lightning. If there’s a team who knows what it takes to be at Tropicana Field come August 7, it’s the Lightning. Most importantly, if anyone knows what it takes to overcome adversity, it’s the Leesburg Lightning.
Here’s to the final three days of the regular season. Buckle up.
Lightning Starting Lineup
- Nixon – 2B
- A. Simmons – CF
- Scanlon – 1B
- C. Simmons – 3B
- Long – RF
- Bonilla – LF
- Baez – DH
- Harris – C
- Pagliei – SS
On the mound: Walker Burgess