Lake Placid playoff run ends with 4-3 loss

CANTON – The Lake Placid boys baseball team’s deepest playoff run in more than a decade ended Monday in Canton.

The Section VII champion Blue Bombers fell 4-3 to an undefeated Heuvelton team in a tight Class D regional semifinals game that went down to the last out.

“We crossed a good team,” Blue Bombers coach Brian Brandes said. “They hit the ball. They showed from the start, we had to be strong on the mound and we had to be strong in the field, and we weren’t as strong as they were today.”

Lake Placid led for much of the early part of this game, after scoring two runs in the first inning.

Both Kamm Cassidy and Ryan Meyer scored in the first after getting on base. The key hit in the inning came from Alex Brandes, who knocked in two runs with a single.

Heuvelton came back to score a run of its own in the first inning, making it a 2-1.

The score remained the same until the fifth inning, when Heuvlton capitalized on two errors to score two runs.

Heuvelton’s Mike Guardino doubled to knock in both runs, giving the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.

“That was a nice breaker for us,” Bulldogs coach Dave Steele said. “That hit right there just pumps up your team, elevates your team. I thought Lake Placid’s pitchers both did a nice job, pitching the ball, very crafty. You know, threw strikes. For us to get those hits and make it a close game, that’s what you want. You want a nice baseball game. That’s what it was. Kudos to Lake Placid.”

The Bulldogs added another run in the sixth inning for insurance, one that they would wind up needing.

In the final inning, Lake Placid’s Conor Preston reached base on an error to start off the inning. He later scored when Noah Mohr reached on an other error. That made the score 4-3 but Heuvelton’s pitcher Cody Holland was able to escape with the win by getting Meyer to fly out with the tying run on base.

Holland, who came in relief in the second inning, picked up the win. He had come in relief of Chris Power, who had allowed Lake Placid to load the bases in the second inning. Holland escaped that jam without giving up a run.

With the loss, Lake Placid fell to 10-8. Heuvelton improved to 18-0. The Bulldogs play Fort Ann of Section II at Clarkson today.

For the Blue Bombers, it was the deepest they had gone into the playoffs since the 1990s.

“It was a great season so far, the ball just didn’t bounce our way today,” Meyer said. “We made a few mistakes. They cost us but that happens to the best of teams. I’m very happy with the way we played this year.”

RJ Reid pitched into the fifth inning for the Bombers, giving up three runs. He missed much of the season with a knee injury but was impressed with how the team played in the second half of the year.

“I thought we played well for how small our program is. We’re building,” Reid said. “I thought we battled. We played well against some Division II teams. We lost by no more than two runs. We beat Plattsburgh, which was a huge accomplishment. We had a great season. I was very happy.”