CANTON — Lake Placid will put its seven-game winning streak and NYSPHSAA tournament life on the line today (4 p.m.) against Heuvelton at SUNY Canton.
The Blue Bombers (10-7) are coming off a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Chazy (13-2) on Friday to claim the Section VII Class D Championship.
“Their confidence level is very high right now,” Lake Placid coach Brian Brandes said. “I’m impressed with their attention to detail; they don’t take anything for granted.”
“They don’t talk about wins and losses; they focus on the small things. The big things will come after,” he added.
Lake Placid is no stranger to state playoffs in baseball; however, it has been almost 20 years since the Blue Bombers won it all in 1994 when they were coached by Jim Faucher.
The Heuvelton Bulldogs clinched their first Section X Class D title in seven years last week, downing Morrisville.
Heuvelton has had a solid season posting a 17-0. The Bulldogs, who played an all-Class D schedule, outscored their opponents 255-46. They only allowed more than three runs five times this year.
On the other hand, Lake Placid faced some pretty tough Class B and Class C teams this year. Early on, the Blue Bombers came back from a seven-run deficit to beat Plattsburgh 12-11. The Blue Bombers then dropped a close 7-5 decision to eventual Section VII Class B champion Beekmantown.
“Hopefully, playing the bigger schools will help us,” Lake Placid coach Brian Brandes acknowledged. “The good competition we will see in Class D will be similar to the big teams we have seen this year.”
Pitching has been one of the key factors in the Blue Bombers’ success. Brandes believes that with good pitching comes fewer field errors and a better chance of winning.
Ryan Meyer was masterful on Friday in pitching a one-hitter, but Lake Placid will go with either R.J. Reid or Ryan Damp today.
Damp returns after missing the sectional final. He was serving a mandatory one-game suspension for not avoiding contact with the catcher in the May 28 semifinal against Crown Point.
“Reid will be good to go,” Brandes said. “Both Reid and Damp have seen top-notch batters, and when RJ is on he is very good.”
The Bulldogs also have a few options on the mound.
Cody Holland stepped up in the semifinal round against Madrid-Waddington. He entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the third inning and then retired the side on strikeouts. Holland finished the game, fanning nine, walking two and allowing just one run on three hits.
Chris Power, Jack Palmer and Mike Martin are also available to pitch today. Martin has been used in closing situations while Palmer has had a few starts for the Bulldogs.
Lake Placid will look to hitters Ryan Meyer, Kamm Cassidy, Alex Brandes and Reid to lead the offense. All have had several multiple-hit games.
Mike Martin, Dakota Marshall, Luke King and Karter VanArnam have been swinging the big bats for Heuvelton.
The winner of today’s game will get the home-field advantage in Tuesday’s second round against Fort Ann of Section II.