DeLand's Rick Hall Named Coach of the Year
Date: Aug 9, 2018
DELAND, Fla.- In DeLand Suns lore, they'll talk about "The Sixth" for long time.
The DeLand Suns claimed the 2018 Florida Collegiate Summer League Championship with a 12-1 victory over the Winter Park DiamondDawgs in Game 3 of the championship series on Monday night at Melching Field. The Suns scored nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to turn a 3-1 nailbiter into a 12-1 run rule victory.
DeLand's championship was the second in franchise history, and the first since 2012. The Diamond Dawgs fell one game short of a league title for the second season in a row.
Winter Park jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as the first two hitters of the game reached on a walk and a wild pitch. With one out, Cale Jones (Santa Fe CC) gave the Dawgs the initial advantage with an RBI single.
After being held off the scoreboard in the first two innings, the Suns would score 12 unanswered runs in the next four, beginning with a run in the third. DeLand loaded the bases on a Brayden Sisson (Kentucky Wesleyan) single and two hit by pitches. Alan Alonso (Lake Sumter) brought in the first DeLand run of the game, drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch.
The Suns took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning with a pair of extra base hits. Matthew Mulkey (Winthrop) clubbed a two-out triple, and Sisson followed with an RBI double, putting DeLand up 2-1.
DeLand's lead extended to two runs in the fifth on a wild pitch. The Suns put runners on second and third on a walk, a single, and an error, which chased starter JP Williams (Eastern Florida State) from the game. On the first pitch from relief pitcher Turner Scruggs (Winthrop), Burke came in on a wild pitch, stretching the lead to 3-1.
The magical sixth inning began with a walk to Scout McFalls (Winthrop), and an error off the bat of Mulkey. Sisson brought both runners in with a single, which opened the floodgates. During the nine-run frame, runs were also brought in on a Geordon Blanton (Marshall) double, a wild pitch, a two-run single from McFalls, a double from Mulkey, and another two-run single from Sisson. Sisson completed the championship-deciding contest with five hits and five RBIs.
For his efforts in Game 3, Sisson was named the Championship Series MVP. During the playoffs, Sisson hit .474 with seven RBIs, and recorded a .545 on base percentage. Sisson is the first FCSL Championship MVP to not come from a school in Florida since 2012, when Bryan Adametz came from NC State to power the Suns to their first title.
Jesus Valoy (Miami Dade) completed one of the great seasons in Florida League history with another complete game. Including the postseason, Valoy went 9-0 for the Suns with a 1.95 ERA.
When the final out was recorded on a groundout to Valoy, the Suns poured onto the field to celebrate the title in front of their home crowd. The championship is the second for Rick Hall, who was at the helm when the Suns won the title at Tropicana Field in 2012.