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Winter Garden Squeeze

The Squeeze allow Dawgs to break tie late in 12-8 loss

This article first appeared at FloridaLeague.com. It was written by Squeeze Communications Intern, Riley Kelton (Auburn University).

The Winter Garden Squeeze gave up four in the eighth and dropped the series against the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs at Alfond Stadium Tuesday.

Headed into the eighth inning, the game was tied 8-8. After the Squeeze were retired in order, the Diamond Dawgs loaded the bases with one out. Skylar Stinson (Tallahassee CC) fell down 3-0 in the count against Maverick Stallings (Old Dominion). Stinson climbed back into the count and struck out Stallings looking to record the second out, but Winter Park still had more out to play with.

Isaac Nunez (Southeastern) was able to break the tie with a two RBI-single to center for his third hit of the day. Winter Park would score two more insurance runs in the inning off an infield single and a throwing error to push the score to the eventual final score of 12-8. In their past six games, Winter Garden has given up the go-ahead winning run in the eighth inning or later in three separate games.

After the third inning, the game was tied up at one apiece. By the end of the top half of the inning, the Squeeze found themselves up ahead by four, courtesy of a Garrett Rusch (Bellarmine) grand slam over the left field wall. The grand slam was Rusch’s first home run of the season.

However, the lead would be short lived after Winter Park responded with a six-run home half of the fourth to put the Dawgs up 7-5. Winter Park sent two longballs of their own, a three-run shot from Sam Downey (Stetson) and a two-run blast from Maverick Stallings. Stallings’ home run went 430 feet and left the bat at 103 mph.

Headed into the seventh, the score was 8-5 Winter Park. With nine outs to go, the Squeeze put across three to tie the game at eight all. After the leadoff man was retired, the Winter Garden offense hit five straight singles that brought in the three runs. One came off the bat of Ben Maskin (Erskine) to plate Titan Kamaka (FSU). The other two runs came from Tripp Landers’ (Florida SouthWestern) single that brought in Maskin and Todd Clay (UAB). The other single in the inning came from Zach Stokes (West Florida).

Nich Rich (Embry-Riddle) was the starter for the Squeeze and carried a one run outing into the fourth. The right-hander was tagged for four more runs in the fourth after recording the first out to finish his outing at three and a third innings. Mark Chapa (Texas A&M Int.) had a great outing in relief during the fifth and seventh innings, going two and a third scoreless without allowing a hit. Chapa recorded three strikeouts in his appearance as well, all three coming in a row from the righty.

Winter Garden will look to get back on track and defend home turf Thursday and Friday against the Leesburg Lightning. The Squeeze will then travel to Leesburg Saturday for the finale of the series. Thursday’s first pitch is set for 7 pm EST at West Orange High School.

The Winter Garden Squeeze are a wood bat league for college students. The Squeeze are a community-minded, summer collegiate baseball team in Winter Garden, FL. They are proud members of the Florida Collegiate Summer League. Est. 2014

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