LAKE PLACID - The Green Dragons were their own worst enemy Friday night against Frostproof. Despite putting a bevy of runners on base, Lake Placid failed to capitalize in key scoring situations and the Bulldogs held on for the 4-2 victory at the Roger Scarborough Memorial Sports Complex.
Friday's game was just the second Class 4A-District 9 for Frostproof. The Bulldogs improved to 3-11 overall and 2-5 in district play, while the Dragons dropped to 6-10 and 2-4.
"We were just flat tonight," Lake Placid coach D.W. Daum said. "We didn't play fundamental baseball and we gave them about three or four runs."
The Dragons, fresh from a win over county rival Sebring, countered Frostproof's first two runs in the bottom of the second inning, when Jacob Cram plated Justin Mason with a double.
But Lake Placid fell into a slump from there, scoring just one more run over the final five innings.
The Dragons seemed primed to explode in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases. Frostproof's pitchers couldn't find the strike zone, and Lake Placid put three runners on with consecutive walks. But a shrinking strike zone and a few bad swings doomed the Dragons, and the inning ended without any runs scored.
"Sometimes we just don't hit the ball in critical situations," Daum said. "We're swinging at bad pitches and taking third strikes."
In the bottom of the seventh, Lane Daum belted a single to center field, giving the Dragons hope for a two-out rally. But as had been the case all game, the Dragons were squeezed at the plate, and Mason was forced to swing at a bad pitch, which Frostproof scooped up for the easy out.
Lake Placid has only McKeel Academy (6-14, 3-4) left on its district schedule. The Dragons stomped the Wildcats by a score of 5-0 in their first meeting, and Tuesday they'll travel to Lakeland looking for the regular season sweep.
But with the way his team is playing right now, Daum said he will need to reevaluate where his player's hearts are.
"We're going to have to sit down and talk about this as a team," Daum said. "I need to know how bad they want it and how hard they're willing to work for it."
And with the district tournament on the horizon, Daum said it's vital to be in the right mindset.
"I want to take a step back and figure out why we come out so flat sometimes," he said. "Because other times, we come out fired up and ready to play."
Lake Placid will be on the road for its next two games. The Dragons return home on April 17, when they hose Class 3A Lakeland Christian (10-6) on Senior Night.
The 4A-9 district tournament runs from April 21-25 and will be held at Charles R. Head Field in Avon Park.