Winter Park has been overtaken in the FCSL standings after a topsy turvy weekend sent the Leesburg Lightning to the top of the league.
The Diamond Dawgs (17-8-1) fell a game behind the Lightning (20-9) after they lost 1-0 to the Orlando Freedom (11-17), who until this week had been at the bottom of the league for the entire season. That shocking loss, coupled with two straight wins by the Lightning, shook up the standings.
Meanwhile the Sanford River Rats (9-17-1), who early on were challenging for the league lead, continued their fall to the league basement with three straight losses.
For the Dawgs, their narrow loss to the Freedom came as an odd twist to a weekend in which they had just defeated the rival Lightning in a 9-1 blowout the game before.
But on July 17, they watched a pitching masterpiece by Orlando’s Garrett Nuss, who went seven innings, giving up just two hits while striking out seven to hold the Dawgs scoreless. On the other side of the coin, the Dawgs’ Jake Fisher, who also had a strong outing, had to take the loss after striking out six batters in five innings but giving up the only run of the game.
On Tuesday they came back with a big win over the River Rats, exploding for eight runs to Sanford’s four, cruising to a win.
Despite their troubles in the past week, the Dawgs continue to sport some of the best talent in the league, with leaders in hitting and pitching. Ted Blackman continues to carry the only .400+ average in the league, hitting .415 starting the week. B.J. Zimmerman’s 24 RBI leads the league. Chad Modomo continues to lead two categories from the mound, with three wins and a 1.32 ERA.
The Dawgs played an away game against DeLand at press time, but will return home to take on Leesburg at 7 p.m. Thursday. For the Rats, a showdown against the league-trailing Winter Haven Loggerheads could prove a positive note on the season, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Winter Haven.