The Leesburg Lightning (19-18-1) powered past the Altamonte Springs Scorpions (18-17-1) thanks to a mid-game rally that gave the Bolts the confidence they needed to secure a 9-6 win at Pat Thomas Stadium on Friday night.
Assistant coach Doug Teegarden served as head coach for the night as Rich Billings was home with family after welcoming a his first born into the world in the morning.
An error in the second and two singles in the third put the Scorpions up 3-0 before Leesburg responded with a Cage Cox double for a 3-1 score.
Tucker Smith started for the Lightning with a five inning, nine hit outing that saw six runs.
The Scorpions added to their lead with a double and a single in the fourth and a single in the fifth for a 6-1 ballgame.
Tristen Gagan supplied the turning point when he rocketed a fastball over left field to cut the five run deficit in half with a 6-3 score.
“After my first, I only saw one pitch and it was a curveball so I knew they weren’t going to come at me with any fastballs,” Gagan said. “I fouled the first one off in my second at bat and I knew they were going to come back with the same thing, so I put a good wood on it.”
Peyton Faulkner and Gagan scored in the sixth on a Altamonte error for a 7-6 Lightning lead. A bases loaded walk put Leesburg up 8-6 before the close of the inning.
“Peden is the best pitcher in this league, no questions asked,” Teegarden said. “He did a great job and now he gets a few days rest. We always count on Peden when we have a lead - we know we’re safe. We just sit back and enjoy watching him pitch.”
Cox sealed the win with another RBI double and Leesburg walked away with a 9-6 victory.
“We came in knowing that we can come in and still clinch the three seed with two wins against Altamonte and we did that tonight,” Teegarden said. “Now we have to go play them tomorrow in a big, big game… We have to look at one inning at a time tomorrow.”
Leesburg returns to action tomorrow as they take on the Scorpions at Conrad Park in DeLand. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.