Blue Bombers are Class D baseball champs
Lake Placid clobbers Crown Point 8-2, plays again next Thursday
CHAMPLAIN — For the first time in five years, the Lake Placid Blue Bombers baseball team is back on top of the section for Class D.
Lake Placid’s starting pitcher PJ Colby tossed a gem Thursday to lead the Blue Bombers to a 8-2 victory over the Crown Point Panthers in the championship game of the Section VII, Class D tournament at the Northeastern Clinton High School baseball field.
The win marked the fifth sectional title under long-time head coach Brian Brandes, who first won the title in 2013. Lake Placid is slated to take on the Section II, Class D champion in a NYSPHSAA sub-regional game on Thursday at a Section VII host site.
In all five sectional victories, the Blue Bombers have yet to advance past the regional or sub-regional round. Brandes said the team is going to prepare the same way it always prepares.
“We’ll go and make sure our three pitchers are ready to pitch and make sure everybody has dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s on the field,” Brandes said. “Everybody is hitting the ball and being aggressive at the plate.”
Colby pitched six innings, striking out 12 batters while giving up just one hit and one run before Vann Morrelli came in relief for the final inning and gave up just one hit, one run and struck out two batters.
Colby got off to an unusual start in the first inning by walking the first batter, before giving up an RBI single to Crown Point’s Reese Pertak. He then struck out back-to-back batters to close out the inning.
“You could tell PJ was amped up throwing four straight balls in the first inning,” Brandes said. “Then he settled down and threw a typical PJ game. He was outside of the zone and inside of the zone, but he pitched a heck of a game.”
After giving up the one run in the top of the first inning, Lake Placid scored twice in the bottom of the first and two more runs in the second, before tacking on four more runs in the final three innings.
“It was a business and they came to play,” Brandes said. “From the first time they stepped on the field, I didn’t feel that there were any jitters.”
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Max Hyman led off with a single, before eventually being driven in on a single from Colby. The Bombers then took the lead after Morrelli drove in Colby on an RBI single.
Lake Placid extended its lead when Hyman drove in Foster Wood on a ball that went past the Panthers first basemen and into the outfield. Hyman then scored on an RBI double from Jon Caito.
Caito, a sophomore from Keene competing for Lake Placid, came up big at the plate in the team’s 12-hit performance. Caito had three hits — a double and two singles — while Colby, Morrelli and Max Hyman had two hits each. The Blue Bombers’ Wood, Owen Thomsen and Owen Hayes chipped in with one hit each.
“Our bats were not silent,” Brandes said. “Our bats came in and did the job.”
Lake Placid scored back-to-back runs in the fourth and fifth inning on RBI singles from Caito and Hayes. The Blue Bombers closed out the game by scoring with two more runs, with another RBI single from Caito and one from Morrelli.
Pertak and Evan Carey had the lone hits for the Panthers. Carey pitched a complete game, striking out seven batters.
Crown Point ended its season with a record of 8-6, while Lake Placid improved to 12-3 overall with the win.