Friday night it was a battle between the two teams who finished one-two in the first half of the Florida State League.
The only difference it was the Clearwater Threshers who won by one run this time in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Yankees. The Threshers lost the first half of the Northern Division in the FSL by one game to Tampa.
But the real story belonged to Threshers late inning relief specialist Luke Leftwich who came on for the final two innings after a 1 hour and 15 minute rain delay.
He got the final six outs on strikeouts relying on a mid 90’s fast ball with late life on 5 of the 6 strikeouts and a sharp breaking pitch on the other. Watch his six strike “threes” HERE.
Leftwich picked up his sixth save of the season while Harold Arauz won his second game after pitching two shutout innings in the sixth and seventh prior to the rain delay.
It was a solo home run by Cord Sandberg in the sixth inning which gave the Threshers the 3-2 lead. Then they held on thanks primarily to the work of Leftwich.
Leftwich previous high in strikeouts this season was six in a three inning relief effort back during the first week of the season.
Leftwich deserves to move up to the Reading bullpen soon. He showed his major league quality stuff in Friday night’s game, no doubt about it!