PICKETTS CORNERS - After getting swept in both games during the regular season, Saranac Lake took down the defending sectional champion to start its playoff run with a bang.
On Friday, the Red Storm baseball team kept its season going with a 7-2 upset victory over Saranac Central in a Section VII, Class B quarterfinal playoff game.
The visiting Red Storm scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back. The Chiefs, who were the defending Class B champions, scored once in the fourth inning to cut their deficit to 3-1, but Saranac Lake piled on four more runs during its next three at-bats to nail down the win.
Grant Strack was solid on the mound for Saranac Lake in earning the victory. The senior went the distance and only gave up two hits. He walked just one batter, struck out four and also had a double in the game.
Saranac Lake had 10 hits. Senior Nick Bayruns led the way with an RBI single and a monster home run in the top of the seventh that he belted over both the right field fence and the tennis court fence behind the outfield.
Logan Wood collected two hits for Saranac Lake including a double, and Brad Shumway and Dylan Gunther also finished with a pair of singles apiece.
"We hopped out to that three-run lead right off the bat and I think they were kind of stunned and Grant was on," Saranac Lake head coach Bryan Munn said. "We weren't even sure we would play this game. In the morning the field was not ready to go, but by the afternoon, it was ready.
"We lost to them two times in two close games, but our guys had the right attitude going into this one," Munn added. "The kids were confident we were going to win. There was no other option and I think they proved that right out of the gate."
With the win, sixth-seeded Saranac Lake improved to 6-10 overall and now play in a quarterfinal game Monday at Peru, the No. 2 seed. The opening pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m.
Saranac Lake 7, Saranac Central 2
Strack and Thurber. Medeiros,Stanton (7) and McCasland.
WP - Strack. LP - Medeiros. 2B - Wood (SL), Strack (SL). 3B - Keysor (SC). HR - Bayruns (SL).
Lake Placid 23, AuSable Valley 4
LAKE PLACID - After playing two close games against AuSable Valley during the regular season, the Lake Placid softball team stepped it up in Friday's Section VII, Class C semifinal.
The Blue Bombers left no doubt with a 23-4 victory that landed them in the Class C championship game Wednesday at SUNY Plattsburgh. Second-seeded Lake Placid will play top-seeded Ticonderoga at 4:30 p.m. for the title.
Serina Hayes earned the win for Lake Placid, recording seven strikeouts and giving up six hits for the complete-game victory.
Hayes, Hanna Potter, Taylor Maiorca, Adele Jesmer and Haley Brandes each had two hits for the Blue Bombers, who outhit AuSable Valley 12-6 in the game.
It was Lake Placid's seventh win in a row.