With less than a week left in the regular season, the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs just took the lead in the Florida Collegiate Summer League standings. But can the Sanford River Rats’ red-hot bats get them back to the top with only five games left in the season?
The Rats fought the Leesburg Lightning back and forth for a three-game series over the weekend, getting trounced 7-3 on July 17 but then the Rats struck twice, shocking Leesburg with a 9-3 win and a 3-2 win in the next two days.
Those six decisive runs in the Rats’ blowout all came in the ninth inning, when they went on a rampage at the plate and took advantage of a string of errors. Keith Skinner’s first homerun of the season was a two-run blast that scored Hunter Melton in the second. Skinner would have four RBI on the day.
Meanwhile the Dawgs were busy handing four straight losses to the College Park Freedom, sending them deeper into the basement as the Dawgs broke into the league lead for the first time in a month. Matt Duce batted in three in the Dawgs’ 10-3 trouncing of College Park on July 19. Pitcher Chris Giordano struck out five and gave up just three hits in six innings in the Dawgs’ 9-2 win on July 18.
There’s one game left that could have a big impact on the season, as the Dawgs and Rats face each other for a final time at 7 p.m. at Sanford Memorial Stadium on July 25. After that it’s playoff time.