Dawgs top the league

The Winter Park Diamond Dawgs edged Leesburg to take the league lead for the first time this season July 7.

The Winter Park Diamond Dawgs edged Leesburg to take the league lead for the first time this season July 7.

Isaac Babcock

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The Winter Park Diamond Dawgs have charged back to the top of the Florida Collegiate Summer League standings with just a few weeks left in the season. But for the College Park Freedom, time is running out on their hopes for a championship.

The Dawgs (14-9) won a nail-biter on July 7, edging the Orlando Monarchs 4-3 to dethrone the reigning FCSL leader for the first time this season. The Monarchs had held the league lead since the first week.

The win came courtesy of Michael Oczypok’s one-hit start, though after a wild fourth inning Brett Nizamoff grabbed the win. A comeback attempt late in the game was quashed by the Dawgs’ Jose Serrano for the save. From the plate K.J. Alexander provided most of the fireworks, with two singles knocking in two runs to net him his eighth RBI of the season. Surprisingly speedy designated hitter Michael Danner swiped his 11th bag of the season.

But while the Dawgs were climbing to the top of the league, the Sanford River Rats (13-10) and College Park Freedom (6-17) have been struggling to get to the top of the ladder. The Rats moved up a notch though, edging Leesburg for the third slot. College Park is 2-8 in their last 10 games.

In the Rats’ most recent win on July 7, a pitchers’ duel played out with most of the Rats’ rotation involved, as Jimmy O’Neill, Matt Dearden, Evin Lynch and Arturo Martoral combined for a six-hit shutout.

The Dawgs host the Rats at 7 p.m. on July 12 at Alfond Field. College Park hosts DeLand at 5 p.m. on July 14.