By, Conlan Birdsall
Leesburg, FL – The Seminole County Snappers took their first win in program history after beating the Leesburg Storm in a close 6-2 ball game. Coach McDaniel is proud of the team’s accomplishment.
“I told the guys after the game it’s something you can always remember for the rest of your career when you look back at this 10 years from now you’re still the first team of Seminole County Snappers that won a playoff game.”
Both starting pitchers locked it down in the first inning allowing zero hits and runs. Storm’s Carson Pillsbury (Santa Fe) kept it going in the second, striking out three. Pillsbury ended the day with five innings pitched allowing two hits and a run while striking out eight Snappers players. However, the Storm scored the first run in the bottom of the second. The lead-off batter, Tanner Clark (UNF) walked on four pitches. On a 3-2 pitch, Spencer Rich (Daytona State) drilled a double scoring Clark from first who was already on the move.
Snappers’ starter Dylan Ross (Northwest Florida State) turned it around after the second shutting Leesburg out for 3 more innings. Ross completed the game pitching five innings allowing one hit and run while striking out five batters. Seminole County’s offense woke up to help Ross in the fifth. Garrett Evans () led off with a walk and moved to third on a Maxwell Romero (Vanderbilt) single. Evans sprinted on a sacrifice fly to tie the game up at one apiece. The Snappers threatened in the sixth, but nothing came of it.
The Storm regained the lead with a run in the sixth. Ariel Martinez (St. Leo) singled and stole base to be in scoring position. Following two batters striking out Alex Freeland (UCF) ripped a single past the Seminole County third baseman bringing home Martinez. Leesburg put two more runners in scoring position in the seventh, but they were stranded by a groundout, a pop up, and a strikeout.
Dalton Ross (Bryan) struck out the final batter in the seventh and earned the win after going 2.1 innings and striking out four including the final batter to end the game. While the Snappers were held to just one run until the eighth, they explode for five runs in the final two innings. In the eighth, the first two batters got on base via walk and a base hit. With runners at first and second, Austin Davis (West Virginia) performed a sacrifice bunt straight to the pitcher moving both runners 90 feet. The Storm pitchers made an errored throw leaving Davis at first and letting the lead runner score. Davis stole a base, putting runners at second and third with Giovanny Lorenzo (Stetson) next up to the plate. Lorenzo doubled a shot over the leftfielders head to add two more RBIs to his season total of 19. Lorenzo was just looking to put a ball in play.
“I think I had two strikes, I was just trying to get the barrel on it and get it up in the air because we had guys at second and third, I was trying to put it in play.”
In the ninth, Seminole County increased the lead with two more runs on 3 straight singles and a walk. The Snappers held on to win.
The Snappers and Jack Anderson (FSU) take on the No. 1 Lightning in the second round back at Pat Thomas Stadium. Coach McDaniel is confident in Anderson in big situations.
“He is one of the best big game pitchers that I’ve ever coached … Jack loves the moment and he loves being in big games and tomorrow I think you are going to see how good he really is.”