River Rats hot start not enough in loss to Suns
Date: Jun 18, 2019
After a few hiccups along the way, the 2019 Florida League schedule is now live.
The same six teams from last summer … DeLand Suns, Leesburg Lightning, Sanford River Rats, Seminole County Scorpions, Winter Garden Squeeze and Winter Park Diamond Dawgs … will compete for the Whiting Cup. However, there are a number of field changes that will take effect.
Construction projects scheduled for this summer on the campus of both West Orange High School and Bishop Moore High School led to a search for new homes for the Squeeze and Diamond Dawgs. The Squeeze will head west and play their home games at Lake Minneola High School. The Diamond Dawgs will hop on I-4 to South Orlando, and call The First Academy home. This won’t be the first time a Florida League team plays at TFA … it was the home of the Orlando Mavericks/Freedom from 2010-2012.
DeLand will once again play at Melching Field, home of the Stetson Hatters. The Lightning return to Pat Thomas Stadium for the 13th year. Sanford and Seminole will both use Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium as their base of operation.
Per tradition, the season will begin with the defending champions traveling to Sanford to play the River Rats. DeLand, who won the 2018 title, will face off against Sanford on Friday May 31 to start the summer.
Saturday June 1 will mark the first full slate of games as DeLand, Leesburg, and Seminole host Sanford, Winter Garden, and Winter Park, respectively. On Sunday June 2, Winter Garden and Winter Park will have their first home game of the season. Each team is scheduled to play 45 regular season games. DeLand, Leesburg and Sanford will have 23 home games apiece while Seminole, Winter Garden and Winter Park will have 22.
The All-Star Game will be held on Saturday, July 6th in Sanford, featuring the top players in the league. Before the mid-summer showcase, fans will enjoy the annual home run derby, featuring eight of the top power hitters in the league. Later in the month, the top 25 pro prospects (as voted by league coaches and staff) will travel to North Carolina to play against other summer league prospect teams in front of dozens of MLB scouts at the annual Southeast Prospect Showcase. Last year, the Florida League faced off against the Valley League and the Ripken League.
The playoff structure will be the same as last season. The last place team will see their season end on Saturday July 27. On Monday, July 29, the #5 seed will play at the #4 seed in a single-game elimination matchup. Beginning on July 30, there will be two best-of-three series, featuring the #1 seed vs. the play-in winner and the #2 seed vs. the #3 seed. The winners of those two series will then face off in a final three-game series. The Championship Series will begin on Saturday August 3rd.
Be sure to follow your favorite Florida League teams on social media for the latest updates about promo nights and events at the ballpark all summer long!