LONGWOOD, Fla. – This past weekend saw a packed Futures League schedule with two games being played on both Friday and Saturday.
Leesburg traveled to the Winter Garden Suns on Friday and were able to jump on starter Collin Booten in the 1st inning, plating three runs thanks to a pair of RBI singles.
The Thunder offense was hardly needed from there as starter Ronnie Ingram threw five innings of no-hit baseball while striking out five Suns batters. Ingram would give way to the bullpen in the sixth as Colby Woodard and David Baxter, Jr. each gave the team two strong innings to advance to 3-0 on the season.
Tanner Clark added a pinch-hit home run for Leesburg in the top of the 9th to further pad the lead in the team’s 7-2 win.
Friday also saw Winter Park travel to Sanford and take an 11-1 win in a game shortened to 7 innings due to the run rule. The Freedom put up five runs in the first inning and were buoyed by a strong collective pitching performance. Casey Wright, the winning pitcher from last year’s FWL Championship, was able to pick up the win thanks to three scoreless innings.
Leesburg stayed hot on Saturday as well. The Thunder were able to pick up a 13-5 win over DeLand, thanks in large part to ten errors committed by the Angels defense. The sixth inning was especially a killer as Leesburg was able to bat around the lineup, plating five runs without being credited for a single hit.
Alex Smith got the win while Travis Torosian picked up a tough-luck loss despite a solid outing.
Sanford and Winter Garden met in the final game of the weekend at West Orange High School. Sanford took the 7-6 win in a ballgame that came down to the final batter.
The Monarchs held the lead for the entire day and seemed to be cruising to an easy victory. The Suns clawed their way back in to the contest, however, dinging reliever Tyler Young for six runs in the last two innings. They even had the bases loaded with two outs in the final frame before Lake Mary native, Michael McArdle, was able to come in and slam the door shut for a gutsy one inning save.
Through one week, the Leesburg Thunder have cemented themselves as the team to beat, posting a perfect 4-0 record. The Winter Park Freedom sit in second place after splitting a pair of games, while the Suns and Monarchs are just behind them with matching 1-2 records. DeLand has yet to get a win on the young season, and the road does not get any easier as they travel to Leesburg on Monday night.