LEESBURG — Bit by bit, run by run, inning by inning, the Leesburg Lightning fought back.
Down six runs after one inning, Leesburg used every out they had before winning in dramatic fashion on Sean Mootrey’s walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to take a dramatic 7-6 win over Seminole County on Tuesday night at Pat Thomas Stadium.
“We preach ‘play hard no matter what,’ it’s really pretty simple and they seem to have bought into that so far,” Lightning coach Rich Billings said. “I think they know that if they choose not to, they have somebody waiting that’s going to take their spot. I think it speaks volumes for our guys and the way they approach the game and the way they believe in themselves and each other, that’s a hard thing to have on a summer baseball team.”
The win was Leesburg’s seventh in a row after a season-opening loss and keeps the Lightning comfortably in first place in the Florida Collegiate Summer League.
Shutting down Seminole after the six-run first inning, Leesburg still trailed 6-4 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Jose Crisostomo and Wesley Weeks drew walks to open the inning with Crisostomo eventually coming home on a sacrifice fly. A walk to Tanner May put the winning run on base and a stolen base and wild pitch put runners on second and third with two outs.
Mootrey who was 0 for 14 for the season, fell behind in the count 1-2 before watching a ball to even it at 2-2. Then he got his pitch and delivered the game-winning two-run single.
“When you get up and you’ve been having this kind of year you just have to forget about it,” Mootrey said. “Easy swings, just trying to help my team out, that’s all it is.
“It always helps to have a team of guys who just put it all out on the field and go hard. I think that’s really important, not just having the athletes to do it but having the will to go out there and play hard every day.”
Leesburg plays a doubleheader on the road against Seminole on Wednesday and the Lightning return home Thursday to take on Sanford at 7 p.m. at Pat Thomas Stadium.