Swinging bats and a bullpen effort pushed the Leesburg Lightning (18-17-1) into third place on Wednesday night. The Bolts defeated the Altamonte Springs Scorpions (17-16-1) 13-8 in a back-and-forth three hour contest at Pat Thomas Stadium.
Alex Ray (Santa Fe) took advantage of an error in the bottom of the first to swipe home with heads up base running for a 1-0 Lightning lead.
Jason Moore (Flagler) brought home the second runner of the night in the second to put Leesburg up 2-0.
A solo home run in the third cut into the Lightning lead 2-1 but a sacrifice from Camden Williamson (North Carolina A&T) got the run back in the bottom of the inning for a 3-1 ballgame.
After Wilson loaded the bases with no outs, two hits off Parry brought home three Scorpions as they took the lead 4-3 in the top of the fifth. Kevin Lambert (Western Kentucky) aided with a double play and Parry got the final strikeout to exit the inning without further damage.
Peyton Faulkner (Southeast Missouri) scored on a Tristen Gagan (Southeast Missouri) single in the bottom of the inning, with singles from Brenton Burgess (Middle Georgia) and Moore to put Leesburg up 7-4.
Dominic Jeancola (Embry-Riddle) entered in the top of the sixth for a solid inning of work with no hits, no runs and two strikeouts. Ryan Allain (Florida Tech) toed the rubber in the top of the seventh but was replaced after a walk and two hits scored two for the Scorpions. Daniel Pierce (Undecided) took over but two more would score for an 8-7 Altamonte lead.
Allain took a final line of two hits and three earned runs with a walk, and Pierce was retired with two hits and a run.
Drew Peden (Florida Atlantic) took over and assisted with two putouts at home and first to help the Bolts escape the inning.
Michael Koenig (Coastal Carolina) tied the contest at eight with a solo home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the seventh but it’s all the Lightning could do until the following inning.
Faulkner and Gagan led off the eighth with singles and an intentional walk to Burgess loaded the bases for Leesburg. A Koenig single, two bases-loaded walks, Mick Tinny (Warner) single and put out by Jay Prather (North Florida) added to the Lightning score 13-8 before the close of the inning.
Peden exited after 2.1 innings with no hits, no runs and a strikeout. Burgess moved to the mound from third and got the final out with a fly ball to Williamson in left field.
Leesburg returns to action to host the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs on Thursday, July 27, at Pat Thomas Stadium. First pitch set for 7 p.m.
Emily Shoffit (Auburn University)