The IMG Wood Bat League keeps getting better with every swing and each new day brings a host of challenges for the six ball clubs. Today, the action started early with two 10:15A.M. game times featuring the Lightning vs. the Seadogs and the Hurricanes vs. the Manatees. I covered the Seadogs vs. the Lightning and it was a thriller to say the least.
The wood bats were loud early as both clubs knocked off runs in the first inning. The Seadogs were first to bat today and got off to a quick start scoring two early runs. The Lightning bounced back quickly when they put one run on the board in the bottom of the first. With the hitters controlling the game, everyone in attendance expected a high scoring game, but the expectation proved to be too high.
After the first inning, strong pitching took over as the bats were silenced. Tough defense backed up any hint of scoring with miraculous plays being made from everywhere. One play in particular caught my attention when Max Brown closed out the second inning with an incredible throw to first as he tripped over the bag at second. Falling down to the ground as he extended his arm to first, he got enough speed on the ball to secure the out and help the Seadogs towards the next inning.
The Seadogs were able to get on the board again in the 5th inning extending their lead to 3-1, but the Lightning kept their defense sharp to keep the game within reach. The game looked to be clearly in the hands of the Seadogs until the bottom of the 8th inning when the Lightning found some offensive momentum. They hit a triple out to right field to start off the inning and continued their good fortune by hitting a double and sending a run home to put the Lightning within one run of the tie. Matt Smith came up with some heroics as he hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game up at 3-3. Smith continued on the mound at the top of the 9th by getting three quick outs. However, the Seadogs stopped the bleeding in the bottom of the 9th to force the game into extra innings.
The Seadogs put pressure on the Lightning right away in the 10th by getting a man on base right away, but a double play immediately following crushed the hopes for the 'Dogs. The Lightning's superb pitching and defense proved to be too much once again as a pop out ended the inning. Again, Matt Smith got on base right away in the 10th and two other Lightning followed suit to load the bases. A walk off base hit by #13 won the game for the Lightning as the celebrated a 4-3 victory.
Lightning vs. Seadogs Player of the Game: # 14 Matt Smith
Matt Smith and Jesse Calo had 2 hits and 1 RBI each in a 10 inning win for the lightning. Cas Dean pitched 7 innings recording 10 strikeouts while one walking on. Smith got the winning shutting down the Seadogs the final 3 innings.
Marauders 11 Conquistadors 0
Player of the Game: James Stiltner
Recap: Stiltner went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI's. Dilandro got the win striking out four and holding the Conquistadors to one hit in four scoreless innings.
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