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Blue Bombers fall in CVAC finale
May 17, 2017

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LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid baseball team found itself in a competitive game Tuesday to wrap its Champlain Valley Athletic Conference schedule, but the Blue Bombers fell short on the scoreboard again in what has been a tough season record-wise.

Led by a complete-game pitching performance by Aaron O'Neill and an opportunistic small-ball offense, AuSable Valley topped Lake Placid 5-3 on the Blue Bombers' diamond.

The Patriots broke open a 3-3 ball game by scoring the winning run in the top of the sixth and tacking on one more run in the seventh to finish the regular season at 6-10.

The loss dropped Lake Placid to 1-9 in a short spring season that saw the young Blue Bombers on a steep learning curve. Both squads will now head into the Section VII playoffs, with Lake Placid competing in Class D and AuSable Valley in Class C.

Lake Placid head coach Brian Brandes said his squad played much better than it did the day before in a 21-5 loss to Northern Adirondack.

"That was a great ball game," Brandes said. "After what we did last night, which was lost by a lot, tonight a huge difference. We had a little bit of an attitude adjustment with the kids, and today it was awesome. I was a whole team effort, 5-3 They had one earned run out of five. That means we're right in there with a team that has been pounding the ball."

The Patriots, who improved to 6-10 with the win, jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the top of the second and one more in the next inning. The bottom of the order then came through for the Blue Bombers in the fourth, as Duncan Segger and Colon Bentley both scored runs after reaching base with singles.

Trailing 3-2, Lake Placid pulled even in the fourth when cleanup hitter Evan Damp singled and eventually reached home on an error. Both teams were scoreless in the fifth and the Patriots then secured the win with single runs in the sixth and seventh.

Evan Snow scored what proved to be the game-winner in an inning that saw the Patriots take advantage of a pair of singles and a throwing error. Evan Snow led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice grounder in the infield, and then reached third on a single by Brandon Snow. Evan Snow then made it home on an error with two outs when catcher Kamm Cassidy attempted to gun down Brandon Snow, who was stealing second, but the ball bounced into the outfield.

Trent Bordeau scored the final run of the game in a seventh-inning that saw the Patriots rap out two more singles.

Both teams had solid pitching efforts. AuSable Valley finished with seven hits and the Blue Bombers had six. All hits in the game were singles.

O'Neill, a senior, finished with seven strikeouts and walked just one batter. Colin Hayes started on the mound for Lake Placid and was replaced in the sixth by Colin Bentley.

"O'Neill's our ace and we don't play until the (May) 23 until our sectional game, and I didn't want him to have that long of a rest," AuSable Valley head coach Randy Douglas said. "We let him go tonight. He's a shooter, he's a gamer. He knows when to get tough and he throws strikes and keeps us in every ball game we're in.

"We hit the ball tonight, but we hit it right at people and they made some plays," Douglas added. "It's a game of finding holes; we didn't find them tonight but we found a way to win. Lake Placid, I give them a lot of credit. They played much better than last week when we faced them."

Wyatt Peck, who bats at the bottom of the order, led AuSable Valley with two hits. Hayes and Bentley finished with two singles each for the Blue Bombers.

AuSable Valley and Ticonderoga will play on May 23 for the Section VII, Class C title.

Lake Placid is the seventh seed heading into the Class D playoffs and will be on the road Friday to face the second-seeded Keene Beavers, who enter the postseason with a 9-1 record.

"Every game, we can point at something we've improved at," Brandes said. "It's either hitting or our fielding that's coming around. The hard part is dealing with injuries. We're constantly flip-flopping at different positions, and it doesn't help having the long indoors to start the season and then two weeks off."

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AuSable Valley 5, Lake Placid 3

[TABULATED_DATA]

O'Neill and McDonald. Hayes and Segger, Sharlow (6) and Cassidy. WP- O'Neill. LP- Hayes.

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