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Bombers rip rival behind Izzo
April 30, 2019

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SARANAC LAKE - The Lake Placid baseball team scored five runs in its first two trips to the plate and never looked back on the way to a 7-2 victory Thursday, April 25 over Saranac Lake in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference action on the Red Storm's diamond.

The contest was a matchup of local rivals both seeking their first win, and the Blue Bombers turned out to be the team with the better bats. They also got a great pitching effort from Jesse Izzo, who went the distance while fanning 10 Red Storm hitters.

Lake Placid scored three times in the top of the first and added two more runs in the next inning to take a 5-0 edge. Saranac Lake plated a run in the bottom of the second to make it a 5-1 game, but didn't score again until the bottom of the seventh with two outs.

Lake Placid head coach Brian Brandes said his team connected on some timely hits, and added he was particularly impressed with Izzo's performance on the mound. Izzo scattered just three hits and walked only one batter.

"He found his location today," Brandes said of his senior pitcher. "Saranac Lake's done a lot to this field. He was pitching off a good mound. He was landing and the mechanics in the lower half of his body were good. Jesse pitched well."

Izzo also had a solid outing at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Jake Coursen also rapped out two singles in the win, Matt Brandes had a double and scored two runs, and Scott Sharlow and Noah Marshall collected a single apiece.

Robert Stephenson, Austen Reyell and Jon Kratts finished with a single each for Saranac Lake.

Ben Munn started on the mound for the Red Storm, struggled early on, and the Blue Bombers took advantage. After starting off the game by throwing out Lake Placid's lead-off hitter - Duncan Segger - on a ground ball, Munn walked the next two batters and then gave up a single to Coursen. The junior finally got out of the inning trailing 3-0 after walking one more batter and giving up a sacrifice RBI fly by Izzo to center field. Eight Blue Bombers stepped to the plate in the top of the first.

Izzo retired the side in order in Saranac Lake's first at-bat, getting lead-off hitter Jacob Shipman out on an infield grounder and then striking out the next two batters.

Seven players had at-bats for Lake Placid in the top of the second, an inning that saw the Blue Bombers score two runs while getting a double from Brandes and a single from Izzo.

Trailing 5-0, Saranac Lake got on the board in the second when Quin Peer scored on a two-out RBI single by Reyell. The Red Storm sent six players to the batter's box in the frame, but didn't mount much of an offensive threat after that.

In the final five innings, Saranac Lake went out in order twice - in the third and the fifth - and only had four players step to the plate in the other three innings.

Lake Placid tacked on another run in the fifth when Izzo scored after he singled, stole second, and then reached third base and home on passed balls. The Blue Bombers picked up their seventh run in their last at-bat on an RBI single by Marshall that sent Coursen home.

Marshall and Gage Perry both finished with two RBIs for the winners.

David Warner scored Saranac Lake's second run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out RBI hit by Kratts. The game actually ended on the play when Kratts attempted to stretch his hit out to a double but was tagged out at second base.

"This is the first time that we had some clutch hitting," coach Brandes said. "Kids came up in the right situations, two or one out with runners in scoring position, and we got them home. It was nice to see."

Munn worked five innings for Saranac Lake and finished with five strikeouts and walked five. Shipman threw the last two innings for the Red Storm and struck out four Blue Bombers.

The loss was the third of the week for the Red Storm, and Thursday, April 25 was only the fourth time this season the team has been outdoors. After coming off a two-week spring break this week, Saranac Lake lost on Monday to Plattsburgh, fell to AuSable Valley on Tuesday and finally had its first outdoor practice on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.

Red Storm coach Kyle Mochol, however, refused to place the blame squarely on his team's lack of quality practice time for its 0-3 start."It's kind of just saying the same thing over and over again, but obviously it didn't help that yesterday in the rain was our only practice outside," Mochol said. "We really didn't get much hitting in. The kids haven't really swung a bat for three weeks. It makes it difficult, but I'm kind of tired of making those excuses. All the other teams are in similar boats. It's not ideal situations for them either, but excuse time is going to be over for us soon.

"We have to start making contact with the ball," Mochol continued. "We were kind of swinging at pitches we have no business swinging at. They're watching the pitches they need to swing at and swinging at the ones they need to let go. You're not going to win ball games doing that. Error-wise, we started off a little shaky, but the infield was pretty solid overall. It came down to things like walks, passed balls. They all start to add up to runs, and that's going to hurt you."

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Lake Placid 7, Saranac Lake 2

Blue Bombers320 001 1 - 7 7 2

Red Storm010 000 1 - 2 3 1

Izzo and Segger. Munn, Shipman (6) and Gladd. WP - Izzo. LP - Munn. 2B - LP, M. Brandes.

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