Courtesy photo The Lake Placid AAA All-Stars celebrate late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning, after winning the District 8 Dixie Tournament in Okeechobee.
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published: Friday, June 29, 2012
Lake Placid sweeps to State
By DAN HOEHNE
Lake Placid has stamped its' ticket for the Dixie State Tournament.
Slated to begin Saturday, July 7, at the Max Long Recreational Complex in Sebring, the AAA State Tournament was joined in the waning hours of Tuesday night by the Lake Placid All-Stars.
With the lingering and continual rains from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Debby washing away the tournament after Saturday's opening games, preparations were made to get the finale in Tuesday night.
Avon Park had topped host Okeechobee to begin things on Saturday, before falling to the Lake Placid squad.
The junior Dragons then continued their winning ways in Tuesday's first contest, flying past Okeechobee with a 13-3 win.
Lake Placid scratched for a run in the first and held a 1-0 lead through two before exploding in the third.
Seven runs came across in the frame, via a combination of hits, walks, hit batters and errors.
The hosts got on the board with three in the bottom of the third, two on a Cole Younger single, but the boys in green weren't done yet.
Five more in the top of the fourth put the lead at the mercy-rule level, 13-3, and it remained there as Okeechobee couldn't add any in the bottom of the inning to end it early.
Lake Placid's win then set up an evening rematch with Avon Park for the championship.
And though they had taken a 10-1 win Saturday over the li'l Red Devils, it wasn't going to be quite so easy this time around.
Avon Park, in fact, got on the board first and held the lead through four innings.
After scoring a total of two runs in their first two games, the junior Devils broke out for three in the top of the opening inning.
Mason Price lead off with a walk, Gunnar Leonard singled and D.J. Conrad drew a base on balls to fill the bases.
A pitching change and one out later, consecutive walks brought home two runs, with a passed ball bringing home the third for a 3-0 Avon Park edge.
Lake Placid answered back quickly, however, as Cody Carpenter blasted a two-run homer to bring his squad back to within one.
The pitching and defense held for both sides over the next two innings, before Leonard reached and came around to add another run for the Devils.
But Carpenter brought home another run in the bottom of the frame, scoring Shamar Mitchell on a fielder's choice to again cut the lead to one at 4-3.
Then, after Avon Park was held scoreless in the top of the fifth, Lake Placid scratched for the tying run and after neither team could score in the sixth, to extra innings it went.
Abe Cervera opened the top of the seventh with a single, but was left stranded, giving the Dragons a chance to end it in the bottom of the frame.
Jackson Griffon got it started by drawing a walk and scampering to second when a pitch got away.
Now playing for that one, vital run, Izaiah Patterson was given the bunt sign and laid one down perfectly to move Griffon to third.
With the winning run perched just 60 feet away, Elijah Daley stepped to the plate.
His ensuing fly ball into left was just deep enough to become a sacrifice fly that would bring Griffon home with the winning, and state qualifying, run.
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