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The Lightning Split Doubleheader Against Snappers on Monday

This article first appeared at LeesburgLightning.com. It was written by Squeeze Communications Intern, Dylan Spaulding (University of South Florida).

(Leesburg, Fla.)-It was the tail of two different games for the Leesburg Lightning, splitting a doubleheader against the Orlando Snappers on Monday, winning 12-10 in Game 1 and losing 3-0 in Game 2.

In Game 1, the game was restarted following a rainout in last week’s contest, resulting in the start on Monday, beginning in the top of the second for the Lightning.

Leesburg already held a 1-0 lead heading into the restarted game and would add two more in the top of the 2nd off of bases loaded walks drawn by Ryan Jenkins and Riley Fitzgerald, giving the Bolts a 3-0 lead.

Zach Mizrahi would help out on the mound through the first three innings, sitting down Orlando 1-2-3 in the 2nd and 3rd innings. However, the 4th inning would be the turning point for both teams offensively.

The Lightning would score four runs in the top of the 4th, coming off no base hits and earning all four from walks, errors, and a groundout in the infield by LF Riley Fitzgerald. All of that would give the Lightning a 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning, but the Snappers would strike offensively, grabbing nine runs, including three off a bases-clearing double by 2B Kevin Smith, to propel Orlando out in front of Leesburg.

Leesburg would, however, respond to the 9-run outpour by Orlando in the top of the 5th, grabbing two runs off a balk and groundout LF Riley Fitzgerald to tie the game. That would quickly change as Orlando would tack on another run in the bottom of the 5th, giving the Snappers the lead, 10-9.

In the top of the 8th, Collin Priest would come in to score and tie things up at 10 apiece, while Lucas Perez continued to throw flawless innings on the mound, finishing with 4.2 innings of work and 8 strikeouts.

Perez would hold the Snappers scoreless from the 5th inning onwards until the top of the 9th, when Travis Stapelton connected on a solo go-ahead home run to left field, giving Leesburg an 11-10 lead. The Lightning would go on to score another run to propel them out to 12-10, adding insurance to the lead.

Lucas Perez would finish out the bottom of the 9th for the Bolts, working out a bases-loaded situation late for Leesburg and being able to secure the Game 1 win.

“Yeah, I mean, honestly, the trick for me is just not thinking too much,” said Perez in the situation. “A lot of times, when I get in a jam like that, I think I have to change my approach. But I was, remember, I just remember I was successful all game, not trying to throw too hard. Just let myself play. And yeah, I just had to get confidence in my breaking ball again, and I was able to throw it. Get a ground ball to get the out.”

In Game 2, the narrative of the game was more about the pitching early than the offensive production.

Max Meyer, who made his first start this season for Leesburg, gave the Lightning 4 efficient innings on the mound, only allowing 2 hits and striking out 5 batters in his start. Garrett Caropreso would show signs of dominance, only allowing four hits and striking out two.

The game wouldn’t break open offensively until late in the bottom of the 5th, off a sacrifice fly by Dawson Mock to score in Jax Yoxtheimer and an RBI single for Kevin Smith to give the Snappers a 2-0 lead. Orlando would add on to that in the bottom of the 6th off a massive solo shot by Hutson Guinn, allowing the Snappers some cushion and closing the door on Leesburg in the top of the 7th.

In Game 1, Travis Stapleton would finish 2-3 with a HR and a double, while Collin Priest grabbed four base hits on the night, coming across to score twice.

The Lightning will look to take the rubber match of this re-made three-game set, taking on the Snappers tonight at Pat Thomas Stadium. The first pitch is at 7:00 p.m.

The Leesburg Lightning are part of the Florida Collegiate Summer League, a wood bat league for college students. Free admission to all home games played at Historic Pat Thomas Stadium.

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