The locals had lost three in a row heading into a home game with the Orlando Freedom on Friday and had been outscored 26-5.
To make matters worse, the team only has 10 hits in the three games.
The Rats hoped to turn things around against the Freedom and they also have a home game against the DeLand Suns tonight (Saturday) at 7 p.m. at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium and then will take off on Sunday before heading to Leesburg to face the Lightning at Buddy Lowe Field at Pat Thomas Stadium at 7 p.m. on Monday.
Monday’s game will start a three-game road trip in as many days for the Sanford nine as it will be in Orlando to take on the Monarchs at Tinker Field on Tuesday and in Winter Park on Wednesday to face the Diamond Dawgs at Alfond Stadium. Both of those games will begin at 7 p.m.
Here is a recap of the three losses:
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
In the last two games, the Sanford River Rats have found themselves in a 7-1 hole to the Orlando Monarchs after six innings. The first, Monday night’s game, ended in a historic comeback that left the Rats on the better half of a 9-8 victory. Sanford got no such luck Tuesday at Tinker Field, as they were defeated in a one-hit performance by the newest member of the Florida League, falling by that same score of 7-1.
The Monarchs’ pitchers were nearly flawless in the victory, allowing just an infield single to Jordan Strittmatter (USF) among three hurlers. Tyrone Miller (St. Leo), Sam Abrams (Miami) and Jordan Brinson (Seminole St.) combined for just one run (unearned), 10 strikeouts, a pair of walks and that lone single on the night.
The Rats did manage to score the opening run of the game in the third inning when a pair of errors and a sacrifice bunt led to a sac fly by Andrew Broadbeck (Flagler) that brought home Drew Weeks (North Florida).
The offense would then go stagnant for the rest of the night. Sanford only landed three more runners on base in the final six innings and never saw a runner touch third.
The Monarchs had no trouble locating the bases, tallying up seven runs in the first six innings. Orlando scored one in the third to knot the game, two in the fourth, and four in the sixth to put the game well out of reach.
Last week’s Florida League Player of the Week David Lee (Bethune-Cookman) led the charge for the Monarchs with a 3-for-4 night including a pair of RBI and a walk. Blake Prince (Seminole State) tacked on a 4-for-4 game with two runs scored and an RBI.
On the positive side for the Rats, pitcher Mike Glassic (East Stroudsburg) was able to work through a tough start to the season with a strong outing in relief, going two innings while allowing no runs and fanning three.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20
The Sanford River Rats dropped their second game in a row Tuesday morning (11 a.m.) at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium, falling to the DeLand Suns and their dominant starter, Drew Jackson (Stetson), 8-1. The Naples, Fla., native retired the first 15 Sanford hitters before Jordan Strittmatter (USF) collected a base hit to lead off the sixth inning.
The win propelled the Suns to 5-3, while the River Rats fell to 3-6, dropping a home game for the first time in the 2012 FCSL season. The River Rats fell to 0-4 on the season against the Suns, who sit just a half-game back from the Leesburg Lightning in the Florida League standings.
Despite the loss, two River Rat relievers posted good outings. Gabe Rivera (Florida Gulf Coast) came on in relief of starter T.J. Sullivan (Georgia State) and pitched two scoreless, hitless innings of work. Rivera is one of only two Sanford pitchers not to allow an earned run this season, recording five scoreless innings on the mound in three appearances.
Eddie Abramson (Case Western Reserve) entered the game in the top of the seventh, and subsequently retired seven of the nine hitters he faced. Abramson allowed no runs and only one hit in his two and a third innings of work.
Despite struggling against Jackson, the River Rat offense was able to muster up some offense late in the game. Following his hit, Strittmatter came around to score the Rats’ first run in the seventh.
In the eighth, Kevin Wortman (Florida Tech) reached on a fielder’s choice, and scored a run on an errant pickoff attempt. Tyler Lesch (USC-Upstate), Sam Halpern (Barry) and Ryan Woodrey (Nova Southeastern) also picked up hits for the River Rats.
THURSDAY, JUNE 21
Walks, errors and a general lack of hitting, among other issues, continued to plague the Sanford River Rats as they dropped their third straight contest. The Rats have been outscored 26-5 in that three-game span. Sanford fell to the Orlando Monarchs, 11-2, Thursday at Tinker Field.
The Monarchs struck first in the second inning. With a runner on first, a pair of errors on the same play allowed Darryl Knight (Seminole State) to score and left Albert Lefran (Lake Sumter) on third. A double by Austin Lueck (USF) brought Lefran home to give the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage. Lueck’s double accounted for starter Joe Adel’s first earned run of the season.
The Rats were able to get a run back in the second. After a walk and an infield single, Daniel Seeba (USC-Upstate) hit into a fielder’s choice that brought home a run.
The Monarchs responded quickly, putting up six runs in the bottom of the inning to spell the end of the day for Adel. In the right-handers first start of the season, Adel took the loss in 3.1 innings, closing the book allowing six runs on four hits and a pair of walks. The starter added five strikeouts.
Orlando tacked on another three runs in the fifth inning that put the club above the mercy rule line. The Rats were able to add a run in the sixth inning. Tyler Lesch (USC-Upstate) led off the inning with the first ball to touch down in outfield grass and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Lesch then stole third before being punched in on a one-out single by Seeba to avoid the mercy rule.
The Monarchs did not, however, allow another River Rat player to cross the plate to finish the contest at the 11-2 mark.
Starting pitcher Drew Gay (Aurora) was nearly flawless for the Monarchs, throwing a stellar six innings, allowing just four hits and two runs. Gay was hit by a screaming line drive in the second inning, but continued his outing, fanning six batters en route to the victory.
In total, the River Rats walked eight total hitters to go along with five errors. In the last two outings against the Monarchs, Sanford has collected just five hits.
The loss drops the Rats to 3-7 on the season.
Weekend Games Offer Several Promotions
This weekend, several of the teams in the Florida League will be offering many great promotions at their home games.
Orlando Freedom – tonight (Saturday) the Freedom are 'Playing with a Purpose,' in support of Jorden Aponte, a 10-year-old boy going through chemotherapy. Come support this worthy cause!
Leesburg Lightning - Turn back the clock to1966! Tonight (Saturday), the Lightning will honor the former Leesburg A's, a minor league team and affiliate of the Kansas City A's. Former players Oscar Flores and Lew Hemauer along with Lillian Skilbred (owner of the Lee Motel where players stayed until they found apartments) will be honored at a luncheon as well as the game.
DeLand Suns - This Sunday, DeLand needs your help! DeLand is one of three finalists for Rand McNally's "Most Patriotic City in America," and the judges will be at the game. Pregame events start at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. game), including a FLYOVER and a parachute flag drop - this is not to be missed! Veterans and all fans who wear Red, White & Blue get in FREE!
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
* DeLand Suns @ Leesburg Lightning
* Orlando Freedom @ Sanford River Rats _ 'Pink at the Park - Proceeds to support Susan G. Komen Foundation
* Orlando Monarchs @ Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
* Winter Park Diamond Dawgs @ Leesburg Lightning _ Retro Night
* Orlando Monarchs @ Orlando Freedom _ Playing With a Purpose, proceeds to support Jorden Aponte
* DeLand Suns @ Sanford River Rats _ Boy Scout Night
SUNDAY, JUNE 24
* Orlando Monarchs @ Winter Park Diamond Dawgs – 1 p.m.
* Orlando Freedom @ DeLand Suns – 5 p.m.: DeLand needs your help! DeLand is one of three finalists for Rand McNally's "Most Patriotic City in America," and the judges will be at the game. Pregame events start at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. game), including a FLYOVER and a parachute flag drop - this is not to be missed! Veterans and all fans who wear Red, White & Blue get in FREE!
MONDAY, JUNE 25
* Sanford River Rats @ Leesburg Lightning
TUESDAY, JUNE 26
* Sanford River Rats @ Orlando Monarchs
* DeLand Suns @ Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
* Leesburg Lightning @ Orlando Freedom
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
* Sanford River Rats @ Winter Park Diamond Dawgs
* DeLand Suns @ Orlando Monarchs
* Orlando Freedom @ Leesburg Lightning
THE FLORIDA LEAGUE VIP ALL-STAR EXPERIENCE
The FCSL would like to give YOU the All-Star treatment during the 2012 Florida League All-Star game on July 17 at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium.
Over the next few weeks, the league will pick 10 winners from the Florida League Facebook page to take part in the 2012 Florida League VIP All-Star Experience.
To take part in the contest, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridaleague and 'like' our page. Once the page reaches 1,000 fans, we will begin picking our lucky winners.
During the 2012 All-Star game, each of our winners will receive the following:
* Free Ale House Meal Deal Ticket (Includes: admission plus chicken sandwich, hamburger, or zingers with french fries and the world famous Captain Jack's Buried Treasure Dessert.)
* Reserved seating at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium
* Dugout access during the Home Run Derby
* Photo with the All-Star teams
* Florida League baseball for autographs
For more information on the Florida League VIP All-Star Experience, visit us at www.floridaleague.com or call 321-206-9174.