A day after they handed the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs their third loss in a row, the FCSL-leading Altamonte Springs Boom fell to a team that had only won one game all season, on a string of bizarre deja vu moments.
Now the Winter Garden Squeeze are 2-16 and the Diamond Dawgs (6-11) are in the deepest hole they’ve been in all season after losing six straight.
In a freakish recent loss, the Dawgs managed to score five runs on three hits and still fell to Sanford 9-5. Winter Park’s Josh DeBacker, who was last week’s FCSL Player of the Week after striking out four batters in three innings of his first pitching outing of the year, while sporting a .700 on-base percentage in the same week, was shelled in his first start Sunday, blasted for five runs on seven hits in three innings of work. The Dawgs’ Jack Curtis, who took the mound to mop up in the final inning, pitched a hitless ninth and drove in a run, making him the most prolific hitter on the team in one at-bat.
An odd series of coincidences handed the FCSL-basement-dwelling Squeeze a miracle in front of a crowd of 100 at their home stadium Sunday. Against the league’s runaway best team, they built a lead of 6-0 before the Boom (13-5) finally struck back, putting up a pair of runs in back-to-back innings in the sixth and seventh. But the Boom’s slowly building rally would come up short as they managed just a run in the ninth and the Squeeze had their second win of the season, 7-5.
Ian Doughty was on the mound for a rare Squeeze quality start, pitching six innings of three-run ball en route to a win. Doughty was the starting pitcher for the Squeeze’s only other win this season in their very first game, with 14 losses in between. Chase Haecker scored the run that put the Squeeze ahead Sunday, just like he did in the Squeeze’s only other win. The loser was a familiar opponent too. The Boom have only lost five games this season. Two of those losses were — you guessed it — the Squeeze’s only wins. Devin Raftery, who consistently ranks among the league’s best pitchers, was on the mound as the Boom’s closer when the Squeeze celebrated their second win Sunday. He was also on the mound as the Boom’s starter when the Squeeze beat the Boom the last time, nearly a month ago.
For the Dawgs, who lost their sixth in a row Tuesday night after watching the DeLand Suns (10-8) claw their way back to a comeback 6-5, their freefall to near the bottom of the league standings may be the worst in team history. They hosted the Suns Wednesday night at press time, and will return home to face the Squeeze at 7 p.m. Thursday, then traveling to Winter Garden’s home field for a 7 p.m. Friday showdown.
For the Sanford River Rats (12-7), who pulled within a game and a half of the league lead behind the Boom after beating them 3-1, a rematch was on order for Wednesday night at press time. They host the Suns at 7 p.m. Thursday and travel to face the Suns at Conrad Park at 7 p.m. Friday.