LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid baseball team made a splash in its return to the Babe Ruth ranks.
After not having a team for the last three years, LP advanced all the way to the championship game of the Malone Lions Club league. Lake Placid fell just short of the title Tuesday, Aug. 10 as St. Regis Falls downed the Bombers 6-4 to capture the crown at the North Elba Show Grounds.
“It was a game of mistakes, which baseball always is,” said coach Tim McNierney. “We just made a few more than they did. I don’t like to lose, but I understand that somebody has to win and somebody has to lose.”
St. Regis Falls scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure the victory. The inning started with a hit batsman, who then came around to score on fielder’s choice. Lake Placid went down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
“It was a tight game, well-played by both teams,” McNierney said.
Ryan Meyer, RJ Reid, Eddie Kane and Dustin Jacques all singled for Lake Placid. The team’s youngest player, eighth-grader Ryan Damp, contributed an RBI double.
Centerfielder Keegan Barney sparked Lake Placid defensively, making a spectacular catch on the run at a decisive point in the game.
Nate Trachte, Reid and Meyer shared the pitching duties for Lake Placid.
“It was a ball that a pro couldn’t have got to,” McNierney said. “He’s been making catches like that all year.”
Ian Wood pitched a complete game, giving up 10 hits and walking three while striking out seven Lake Placid batters to earn the win on the mound.
St. Regis Falls dedicated its season to Brady Lee Frazier, an eighth-grader who died in May of a head injury sustained while playing baseball for the school’s modified team.
Frazier was remembered with a moment of silence prior to Tuesday’s game in Lake Placid.
“If we were going to lose to anybody, I didn’t mind it being them,” McNierney said. “My hat’s off to St. Regis. It was wonderful that they could win it for Brady. They are a real classy team.”
McNierney said that the St. Regis Falls players in the championship game were teammates with Frazier on the modified team.
“They did it for Brady,” said St. Regis Falls coach Sonny Duquette. “Brady was the most popular kid on every team he played on. I coached him in soccer, basketball and baseball for years and no matter what sport he was playing, he was the team leader.
“He was that special kid who shined in everything he did and smiled the entire time doing it. He was friends with everyone and lit up the room wherever he went. He was simply a beautiful kid and he is missed by everybody. He surely was one in a million and he will never be forgotten.”
It was the third meeting of the two teams this season, with St. Regis winning the series two games to one. The teams went into the championship game as the top two seeds in the league, both posting 10-2 records throughout the regular season.
Lake Placid, the top seed, beat Brushton 10-5 in the first round of playoffs, and moved on to down Chateauguy 12-1 in the semifinals.
“It was a great season for us,” McNierney said. “I’d like to think that Babe Ruth is here to stay in Lake Placid.”
McNierney played an integral role in bringing Babe Ruth baseball back to Lake Placid.
“I had coached most of these boys for four years in Little League and had much success as they are a very talented group of athletes,” McNierney said. “I felt it would be a shame not to continue their baseball play at the older level.”
Nine of the Lake Placid players in Tuesday’s game didn’t play high school baseball in the spring as Lake Placid High School only fielded a varsity team.
“I want this to be a feeder program for the high school,” McNierney said. “We look forward to coming back next year.”
The Malone league is for players between the ages of 13 and 16 years old.
Photo by Alicia Brandes
Keegan Barney makes a spectacular catch in deep center field during the championship game Tuesday, Aug. 10.