Optimism abounds for Blue Bombers baseball

Back from left: Coach Ron Rossi, Gage Perry, Jarrett Hathaway, Scott Sharlow, Jake Coursen, Anders Stanton, Nick Marvin, Skyler Jordon, Warren Clark and head coach Brian Brandes. Front row from left: Ichiro Asato, Tyler Hinckley, Duncan Segger, Colden Lawrence, Jesse Izzo, Matt Brandes, Brooklyn Mayberry, Colin Brandes and Anthony En-Hsu. Missing: Noah Marshall. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

LAKE PLACID — With 11 players returning from last year’s team, including nine seniors, the Lake Placid baseball team is hoping this will be the season that it can put everything together on the way to making a run at a Section VII, Class C championship.

That may be a lofty goal, as the Blue Bombers move up from Class D to C and will now have 2018 state runner-up Ticonderoga as one of the teams standing in their way. Nevertheless, the Blue Bombers are heading into a new campaign with plenty of optimism.

Seniors Jake Coursen, Jesse Izzo and Scott Sharlow are three seniors leading the way, as they return from last season’s team that finished as the Class D champions with an overall 9-9 record and graduated just two players, Colin Hayes and Logan Brown.

While the trio will obviously be relied upon to produce at the plate, their biggest mission will be working the mound, just like a season ago when as starters, they combined to pitch 102 of the 120 innings the Blue Bombers spent out in the field.

All three players said they’re looking forward to their final year of Blue Bombers baseball, and are hoping for a successful run during the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference regular season and beyond.

“We have a team basically centered around the seniors and this is our year to go out and take it,” said Izzo, who is in his fourth season playing varsity baseball. “Fielding is very important. Fielding was spotty last year, that’s something we need to fix, and we have the right kids to do that this year.”

Sharlow also begins his fourth season with the Blue Bombers who will again be a key player in the field and at bat.

“Last year my high point was my hitting,” Sharlow said. “I’d like to improve my pitching; balance it out. It’s my last season, I want to have a lot of fun. Winning is fun, so our plan is to win.”

When Coursen isn’t throwing, he’ll be at third base, a position where he wants to clean up on the errors he had in 2018.

Returning players also include seniors Colin Brandes, Duncan Seegar, Noah Marshall, Gage Perry, Jarrett Hathaway and Colden Lawrence, junior Tyler Hinckley and freshman Matt Brandes.

Newcomers are Warren Clark, Joey Herzog, Schlyer Jordan, Nicholas Marvin, Brooklyn Mayberry and Anders Stanton.

Getting outdoor practice time prior to the season has traditionally plagued Lake Placid, and that was again the case this spring. Head coach Brian Brandes, who enters his 10th year leading the team and has compiled a 51-95 record, said getting the bats going will be a must if the Blue Bombers are going to find success. During the 2018 campaign, Lake Placid’s batting average was .235 as a team.

Seegar, who will be among the players behind the plate again and will also head into his fourth varsity season, expressed the optimism surrounding the squad this spring.

“I’m hoping we’re going to do well; probably a pretty good playoff run if everything goes the way we expect,” he said.

Coach Brandes said win or lose, it all comes down to having the right attitude in the end.

“In June, if we looked back at the season and were able to say that every player worked hard every day to better their self as a player and a teammate, we had a successful season,” Brandes said.