WINTER PARK — The longest winning streak in Florida Collegiate Summer League history now belongs to the 2018 Leesburg Lightning.
The Lightning picked up a 4-3 win against Winter Park in the completion of a game that was suspended on June 23. At thetime the game was suspended, the Lightning had won 12 games in a row and later added another win. But although Leesburg had played plenty of games since June 21, that suspended game was the one that would count for the record. Lose, and the Lightning would have had a 12-game winning streak. Win and Leesburg would claim the league record with 14 wins in a row.
The Lightning ended up carving out a place in the record books behind a strong relief effort from Ronny Hinton while coming up with just enough offense to pull out the win.
"There was a good stretch there when it felt like we might not lose another game the whole season, I think everybody felt like that," Leesburg manager Rich Billings said. "I think the fans expected it, our players were playing as though that was going to be the case. ... I had no idea what the league record was or the Lightning record was, but our guys, once we got to that 10th win in a row, they had an idea that we were definitely capable of it."
After earning their place in history, the Lightning dropped the second game of the doubleheader 3-1.
The first game started in the bottom of the second inning with Leesburg leading 1-0. Dawgs lead-off batter Jacob Teter tied the game with a home run on the first pitch from Hinton.
Hinton was able to rebound, though, making that the only earned run he would allow in 4 1/3 innings of relief work. Technically, the game was started by Rob Kwiatkowski in June, but Kwiatkowski was not available to pitch, and Hinton picked up the win, pushing his record to 3-0.
The Lighting added three runs (two in the fifth and one on the sixth) in what ended up being a tight contest down the stretch. After Sean Mootrey knocked in Jay Prather with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, the Diamond Dawgs answered with one run in the bottom half of the frame, making it 4-2 heading into the seventh and final inning.
With a spot in the record books on the line, Leesburg closer Pedro Reyes-Ruiz allowed a home run to Hunter Phillips before getting Jeff Korte to foul out to earn the save.
In the second game Leesburg could only manage one run on five hits.