LEESBURG, Fla. -- The Leesburg Lightning (4-4) returned home on Tuesday for game two of its series vs. the Seminole County Scorpions (2-7) and claimed a 4-1 victory at Pat Thomas Stadium. It was a seven inning contest due to a weather delay.
Peyton Winebarger (North Carolina A&T) dazzled in the game’s first four innings, holding the Scorpions to zero runs and two hits while walking one and striking out six.
After the Lightning scored in the first, its lineup was quieted over the next three innings. Leesburg maintained a 1-0 advantage after four innings of play.
Winebarger went back out and worked a perfect fifth with two punchouts. The Lightning added another run in the fifth on a Tucker Horsley (North Florida) sacrifice fly scored Scott and made it 2-0 Lightning after five frames.
Amir Asghar (undecided) relieved Winebarger who was fantastic on the mound. The North Carolina A&T Aggie threw six scoreless innings and gave up just two hits and a walk while striking out eight. Head coach Rich Billings had plenty of praise for the lefty. “Peyton was really, really good,” Billings said. “It was encouraging, probably the brightest spot of the night. He was sharp and he was around the zone and got a lot of swings and misses.”
Winebarger said postgame that he was just trying to keep the ball in the zone. “I kind of had everything working,” Winebarger said. “I was just trying to pitch to contact. I judged their swings from yesterday and was just trying to make pitches. I was surprised I had as many strikeouts as I did.”
In the home half of the sixth, Cage Cox (undecided) broke the silence. He cranked his second home run of the year deep into the Leesburg night that provided some insurance for the home team. The Lightning led 4-0 as the Scorpions were down to their last three outs.
In the top of the seventh, Cody Morrow (Alabama-Huntsville) entered to shut the door for the Lightning. The Scorpions would push across a run on a throwing error, but it was not enough as the Lightning held on for the 4-1 win.
Coach Billings was proud of how his pitchers dominated the game, but also said that the offense stepped up when the team needed insurance. “When you get good pitching like that, you don’t have to be as offensively minded,” Billings said. “Robbie (Scott) had a couple of big hits and then Cage (Cox) with the big swing at the end. That gave us some breathing room.”
Jaxon Peebles (Alabama)