In their second trip to Pat Thomas Stadium this season, the Altamonte Springs Snappers came up just one run short to the Leesburg Lightning in a battle between opposing pitchers. With their fifth one run loss this season, the Snappers are now just a game under .500 with an overall record of 7-8.
Looking to even his win-loss record to 1-1 in his second start of the season, Snappers’ starting pitcher Brad Boob (Coker College) threw seven solid innings, allowing only one run on five hits and two strikeouts. In his three appearances as a Snapper this season, Boob has a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched with an opponents batting average of .235.
“Boob had a great outing last week too and to walk away with another one run loss hurts,” Snappers’ Pitching Coach Jared Lewis said. “He’s the guy that you want out there to throw strikes, change speeds and hit spots. That’s what we always say pitching comes down to, and he’s the poster-child for it.”
In the first inning the Lightning had two base runners reach base. With runners on second and third, Boob tagged out a runner attempting to score to shutout the Lightning after one. Boob’s lone run would come in the fifth.
“I didn’t want to start the game off that way, but we got them out with no runners scoring and as soon as we did I calmed down and just went back at it,” Boob said. “I was able to spot my slider pretty well tonight and was working both sides of the plate and hitting my locations makes for another good outing.”
With two outs in the fifth, after reaching base on a Lightning error, Snappers’ right fielder Daniel Schuh (Southeast Missouri State) attempted to score from second on a hard-single to left by Snappers’ first basemen Alex Aycoth (Redlands CC) for the Snappers’ first hit of the ballgame. Unfortunately, Schuh was thrown out by the Lightning’s left fielder Matt Simonelli (The Citadel) in a close play-at-the-plate.
In the home half of the fifth, the Snappers fell behind 1-0 after the Lightning’s latest arrival, right fielder Kevin Mierzwinski (UNF), reached base on a fielder’s choice and later scored on an RBI single by Simonelli.
Snappers’ center fielder Jason Bush (Cumberland University) landed a stand-up double to left-center for his league-leading fifth double of the season to lead-off the top half of the seventh. With the Snappers threatening to pull ahead, Snappers’ catcher Ben Braaten (Iowa Western CC) and Snappers’ designated hitter Ray Allen (Dartmouth) each drew walks, loading the bases for the Snappers.
Entering the game in the seventh, Lightning pitcher Blake Marsocci (Stetson) bailed out his college teammate Ian Thompson (Stetson), who pitched five scoreless innings of one-hit baseball to earn his first win in his first game for Lightning. Marsocci would eventually work his way out off the bases loaded jam with no runs scoring to earn his league-leading sixth save of the season. Marsocci pitched three innings and had six strikeouts.
“To me it almost seems like we’re too tentative at the plate,” Lewis said. “We’re taking good pitches and I would like them to be a little more aggressive at the plate. We really didn’t hit that well [in the win over Sanford] to score those first eight runs, but once we had a comfortable lead, it seemed like we swung the bat better and were much more aggressive.”
The Snappers have an off day on Friday before returning home to play a doubleheader against the first place Winter Springs Barracudas. Pitching for the Snappers in those games will be Bo O’Dell (Florida State) and John Durham (Warner Southern College). Appearing in three games and starting one for the Snappers this season, Durham’s win-loss record is 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA in eight and one-thirds innings pitched. O’Dell’s three wins lead the Snappers’ pitching staff this season and his .188 opponents’ batting average is fifth in the FCSL.
Eric Rushia (SUNY Plattsburgh) Altamonte Springs Snappers Journalism Intern