Prior to the rains from Tropical Storm Debby inundating the area Saturday evening and wiping out the Florida Collegiate Summer League schedule for a few days, the River Rats were able to get in a pair of games.
On Friday, the Rats returned to Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium after losing three games in a row in which they accumulated a total of 10 hits.
And things did not look good as the hosts trailed the Orlando Freedom, 3-2, entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
That’s when the offense finally began to click as Sanford plated five runs to pull out a 7-5 victory.
But the very next night, again on the home Rinker-Stenstrom turf, the bats went back in the deep freeze as the DeLand Suns defeated the locals for the fifth time this season, 6-0, with the Rats being held to one single, that coming in the first inning.
Weather permitting, Sanford will head to Winter Park tonight (Wednesday) for a 7 p.m. contest with the Diamond Dawgs at Alfond Stadium.
The Rats will then return to Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium tomorrow (Thursday) for a doubleheader with Winter Park starting at 4 p.m.
Sanford will then close out a 4-game homestand, and the month of June, by hosting the Orlando Monarchs on Friday and the Leesburg Lightning on Saturday. Both of those games will also begin at 7 p.m.
Fans can make it a big weekend in Sanford as the Babe Ruth Baseball 15-U District 13 Tournament will also be played at the Stadium with games at 10 a.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Admission to those games will be free to all.
Here is a recap of the previous two games:
RIVER RATS 7, FREEDOM 5
The Orlando Freedom and the Sanford River Rats faced off Friday night at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium with a five-run seventh inning by the hosts pushing them past the Freedom, 7-5.
Earning the win was southpaw Alexander Graham (USC-Beaufort), who worked 1.2 innings on the mound and struck out three while giving up two runs on three hits. His counterpart, Jeff Campbell (North Dakota) was charged with the loss in 0.1 inning of action. He gave up three runs on two hits.
The Freedom were off to a quick start as they plated a run in the opening frame. Robert Buckley (Florida Atlantic) scored the first run of the night on a base hit to left by fellow FAU teammate Mark Nelson. A throwing error by the left fielder allowed Buckley to make his way home from second base.
Sanford knotted things up in the bottom of the third on a one-out double from Kevin Wortman (Florida Tech).
In the top of the fourth, Orlando took a 2-1 lead on a RBI single from Blake Hutton (Ohio State) that drove in Hunter Bruehl (St. Johns River State College).
Sanford tied the score once again in the home half of the fifth on a solo home run by Drew Weeks (North Florida).
The Freedom took their third lead of the game in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Chris Suto (Lake Sumter CC) that scored Mike Spano (Florida Atlantic), who led off the inning on a walk.
But the home half of the seventh proved to be the game changing factor on the night as the River Rats put up five runs to take a 7-3 lead.
Nicolas Delerme led off with a single and Shaun Starnes came on to pinch-run.
Starnes then stole second and advanced to third on a single by Tommy Williams before scoring the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Weeks.
Wortman then drew a walk and one out later Tyler Lesch also walked to load the bases with two out.
Daniel Seeba then put Sanford ahead to stay with an RBI single before Spencer Hermann reached on a throwing error that allowed Wortman, Lesch and Seeba all to score.
Orlando would not go down quietly as they tacked on another two runs in the top of the eighth, chipping away at the lead.
Patrick Grady (Lander) led off the inning on fielding error by the River Rats third baseman, followed by a double down the right field line from Garrison McLagan (San Diego Christian College) that pushed Grady over to third with no outs.
Grady then scored on a slow grounder to first from Bruehl and McLagan then scored the fifth run of the night on an infield single from Hutton that capped the scoring for both teams.
Weeks had a huge night for the River Rats, going 2-for-3 with a home run and a double, two runs scored and two RBI.
Wortman also doubled for the first time this season, while Seeba, Delerme and Williams also had one hit each.
Suto and Hutton led the Freedom at the plate with two hits each while Nelson, McLagan and Kovar each registered one hit.
SUNS 6, RIVER RATS 0
The Sanford River Rats have yet to find a way to defeat the DeLand Suns. The Rats lost their fifth straight to the Suns Saturday, in a 6-0 defeat that saw DeLand out-hit the home team, 16-1.
The Rats were shut down by a trio of pitchers, Brett Mueller (Rollins), Clay Ardeeser (Georgia College & State University) and Reilly Monkman (Seminole State).
Daniel Seeba (USC-Upstate) collected the only hit for the Rats in the first inning. Four other Sanford players reached base during the game via four walks by Suns’ pitching.
The Suns got the scoring started in the first inning when Kevin Lindheim (Stetson) tripled to bring home Jeff Lemon (Embry-Riddle). Lindheim would score later in the inning on an Eric Lunde (Lander) single. That 2-0 advantage would be more than enough to gain the victory.
The scoring then halted for five innings, until the Suns plated three more in the seventh. DeLand would tack on another run in the eighth to give the club its fifth victory over the Rats in five tries this season.
Mike Glassic (East Stroudsburg) took the loss for the Rats in five innings pitched. Glassic only allowed two runs, but gave up seven hits and walked three. Mueller got the win for the Suns in a 5.2 inning, one-hit appearance. Ardeeser and Monkman both pitched hitless, scoreless outings.