posted on June 04, 2011 22:35
DELAND, Fla. (June 4, 2011) - The Lightning added another early season victory Saturday night in DeLand under the lights at Melching Field Conrad Park with a 5-0 shutout.
A night after an offensive explosion, Leesburg (2-0) relied on their pitching staff to get the job done on Saturday. Backed by outstanding defense, the four Leesburg pitchers didn’t allow a run and kept the DeLand (0-2) batters at bay for the majority of the night.
Similar to Friday night, starter Dylan Ortega (Brevard CC) found himself in trouble early in the first inning with runners on the corners and only one out on the board. Third baseman Tyler Kellmann (Lake Sumter CC) made an acrobatic catch along the DeLand dugout preventing any runs after colliding with catcher Nick Octavi (Harford CC).
Troy Drummond (Delaware State) gave the Lightning the 1-0 lead when he smashed a triple to the right-center gap that scored shortstop Jacob Tillotson (Florida).
“I got ahead 3-1 in the count and drove the ball into the gap,” said Drummond. “With a runner on, I was just looking for something to hit up the middle and found a hole.” He would go on to finish the night 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a pair of stolen bases.
Catcher Nick Octavi (Harford CC) tacked on another hit, leading the team with five hits early on in the season.
“I go up there (the plate) and I try to be aggressive; I look fastball and I look to swing,” said Octavi, who also did a phenomenal job of handling the pitching staff for the second night in a row. He has had to catch seven different Lightning pitchers in the first two games.
“The guys made it easy when they throw strikes all night, but you find and feel for a sense of the way each guy pitches.”
Of the seven different arms that Octavi has been behind the dish for, one of those pitchers was starter Dylan Ortega, who was pulled after three innings after giving up no more than four base runners.
Team chemistry has had a lot to do with the Lightning’s early season success and the Leesburg bench has been very energetic throughout the first two games. As these players come from all over the nation, their ability to blend together as one team will be pivotal to the team’s success moving forward. However, the excited mood on the bench points to all things positive for Leesburg.
Leesburg will return to Melching Field Conrad Park for a Sunday (June 5) showdown against the Winter Haven Loggerheads at 5 p.m.
Nick Beardi (Medaille College)