Local Sports

Shooting for the stars

— Playing for their tournament lives, the Lake Placid All-Stars responded with a solid performance by routing Marianna by a score of 11-2 in the Dixie Youth AAA/Minor State Tournament on Monday night in Arcadia.

Lake Placid came out fired up, took an early lead and never looked back in sending the boys from the Panhandle home from the 10-team, double-elimination tournament.

“The kids came out to play some ball tonight,” said Lake Placid AAA coach Mike Warner. “They were a little upset with that big loss yesterday but they responded in a good way.”

The Lake Placid All-Stars started the tournament on a positive note by beating South Lake by a score of 7-6 on Saturday, but lost a 9-3 decision to a talented Spring Hill American squad on Sunday.

But the Lake Placid players (ages 9-10) bounced back in a big way and got to play another elimination game on Tuesday night.

Results from the game were not available at press time. For the latest results, check the Highlands today Facebook page. For the complete story and photos, be sure to read Thursday’s Highlands Today sports section.

Lake Placid started out swinging the bats in the top of the first inning as Joey Warner doubled to left-center field and Elijah Daley hammered the ball over the center-field fence for a two-run homer and a quick 2-0 lead.

Marianna answered in the bottom of the frame as Brennan Faircloth walked, advanced to third base on a double by Zane Monk and both runners scored on wild pitches to tie the game at 2.

In the top of the second inning, Lake Placid’s Chase Rykaceski singled, Damien Brown singled and Johnny Phillips followed with a run-scoring single for a 3-2 lead.

The Lake Placid offense got cranked up in the third inning as Alan Torres singled, James Swaford singled and Holden Martin bunted for a base hit to load the bases.

Warner walked to score Torres and Swaford raced home on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 5-2.

Marianna tried to rally in the fourth inning. Monk was on third and attempted to steal home, but was caught in a pickle by the alert Lake Placid defense and was thrown out trying to get back to third base.

Marianna Coach Shane Monk challenged the call saying that the runner was blocked from the base, but the umpires stood by their call.

Lake Placid pulled away in the top of the fifth inning as Martin doubled and moved to third base on a sacrifice fly by Warner.

Marianna coach Monk ran on the field and claimed that Martin left the bag early, but the umpire stood by his call.

When coach Monk wouldn’t leave the field in a timely fashion, he was ejected from the game

Daley scored on a sacrifice fly, Chase Grigsby lined a double to left field and Walker Holmes knocked the ball into the gap in right-center field for a double driving Grigsby home.

Rykaceski walked and Phillips bunted for a single to load the bases. With Brown up to bat, the Marianna catcher threw to first base attempting to get Phillips out but overthrew first allowing Holmes and Rykaceski to score to make it 9-2.

Lake Placid wasn’t done as they plated two more runs thanks to a two-run bomb by Daley, his second homer of the game, to take a commanding 11-2 lead.

“I was just thinking about getting a base hit,” Daley said. “It felt good hitting two home runs.”

Warner pitched three innings and struck out five to earn the win, while Grigsby came on in the sixth inning to close the game out.

“Our pitching was incredible,” said coach Warner. “Our defense was good, and our bats came to life. We are going to just keep on rolling one game at a time. This group of kids doesn’t know how to quit and they are not going to quit. We are going to fight to the end.”