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Leesburg and Winter Park set to face off in Florida League Championship


FCSLLogo After two relatively quick playoff series, the #3 seed Leesburg Lightning will meet the #1 Winter Park Diamond Dawgs for the 2010 Florida League Championship at Tropicana Field. The Lightning will be returning to the game for the third time in the past four years, winning the championship in 2007 as well as last season, 2009.  For the Diamond Dawgs, this is the first time they will be back since 2006 when they won it all.  The Dawgs have had an amazing turnaround after winning only ten games all of last season and are currently ranked 20th in the nation across all summer leagues according to PG Crosschecker.  The game will begin after the 12:10 PM game between the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays, with 5:00 PM as an estimated start time.

Coach Frank Viola was excited with the way the Lightning were able to make it through the playoffs.

"We looked like a complete team," Viola said of his Lightning. "That was our whole theory, our whole idea, our whole concept for the summer, and now we get to go to the Trop (Tropicana Field)."

The Lightning have eight players on the team that have already played in a Florida League Championship Game, including franchise wins leader Kyle Wahl (Southern University), Florida League hitting streak record holder Danny Baatz (UNC-Asheville) and fan favorite Nick DelGuidice (Florida Atlantic). This experience could provide an advantage for the Lightning.

The Diamond Dawgs bring some weapons too, however. They have the top two hitters in the league, including league batting champion Sam Kimmel (Indian River State) and batting title runner up and MVP candidate LB Dantzler (State College of Florida). They also have the home run king of the 2010 Florida League, Brad Hutton (Ohio State), who hit six home runs in the regular season and has since hit a grand slam in the playoffs. Finally, the Dawgs have the league saves leader in Chandler Jagodzinski (Lake Sumter CC), who notched nine saves despite missing several games to go pitch for Team USA in the Netherlands at the Honkbal Tournament for the National Junior College Athletic Assocation.

"We bring a lot of weapons to this game," revealed Coach Clint Chrysler. "This has been our goal all year long and I made sure to remind my guys of that in the playoffs. Never lose sight of the finish."

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