Going into tonight’s Florida Collegiate Summer League (FCSL) championship game, Sanford River Rats’ pitcher Alex House had not given up a single run in the playoffs.
He still hasn’t.
The lanky sophomore from Florida Atlantic University pitched a complete game shutout, giving up just four hits and firing six strikeouts, as the Rats blanked the Leesburg Lightning 1-0 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Sanford clinched the FCSL regular season title a week ago. Now the Rats are 2015 League Champions.
House’s performance earned the Winter Park native championship MVP honors.
Leesburg pitcher Darren Kelly was as dazzling as House, except for two key mistakes in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Kelly hit Sanford leftfielder Aaron Palmer with a pitch to start off the inning. Palmer stole second base, then advanced to third on a long put out to right field. With the Rats having the best scoring opportunity either team had seen all night, Kelley tossed a wild pitch which brought Palmer home from third.
Kelly closed out the sixth and the seventh inning without incident, but by that point the damage had been done.
Sanford picked up its third FCSL Championship. The Rats won the first ever league championship in 2003 and were champs again in 2011. Sanford made it to the championship game last year, but lost to Winter Park.
– by Dan Ping