SEBRING — Lake Placid’s offense exploded in a 17-0 win over Avon Park in the Dixie AAA (ages 9-10) District 8 Tournament on Friday night at the Max Long Complex.
“These boys have been working their tails off for the last year to get to this point,” said Lake Placid AAA coach T.J. Swaford. “I’m proud of them. My pitchers hit their spots and looked sharp. My boys were disciplined at the plate. Elijah Daley came through with a big home run when we needed it. I’m just really proud of them.”
Even with a rain delay the Lake Placid All-Stars didn’t lose their stride. Despite giving it their all Avon Park couldn’t get on the board.
Lake Placid’s James Swaford started the game with a single, Holden Martin doubled to left field and Joey Warner smacked an RBI double to plate Swaford.
Elijah Daley followed with a two-run triple and Chase Rykaceski plated Daley to give Lake Placid a 4-0 lead.
The Lake Placid offense went back to work in the top of the second inning as Tyler Baker singled, moved to third on a pair of ground outs and raced home on a single by Damien Brown.
Chase Lane walked, Swaford roped an RBI double and Martin lined a base hit to center field to score Lane.
Swaford scored on an error for a commanding 8-0 lead.
Avon Park tried to get on the board in the bottom of the inning as D.J. Conrad hit a single to center field and stole second and third base.
But he was left stranded as Kelby Crunkelton, Chase Johnson and Nick Rowe went down on strikes to end the threat.
The top of the third inning started out with a bang when Daley blasted a home run into the parking lot. After Daley’s home run Avon Park made a pitching change as Crunkelton came in for Conrad.
Chase Grigsby singled, Rykaceski walked and both runners moved up on a fielder’s choice by Walker Holmes. Baker smoked a double to left-center field to score Grigsby and Rykaceski.
Holmes moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Alan Torres to go up by a score of 12-0.
I was excited to hit a home run,” said Daley. “I was just trying to hit a single. I hope to hit one again tomorrow.”
Lake Placid tacked on some insurance runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Grigsby singled, Rykaceski laced a double and Holmes walked to load the bases. Baker worked the pitcher for a base-on-balls to force in a run.
Swaford walked plating Rykaceski and Martin capped the inning with a bases-clearing double to center field for a 17-0 lead.
Avon Park ended the inning with a double play by D.J. Conrad. Warner hit a line drive to Conrad, who caught the ball in the air and hustled to second base to beat the runner for the final out.
Avon Park went down in the bottom of the inning to end the game because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The four-team, double-elimination tournament ends today with games scheduled for 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The District 8 champion advances to the Dixie AAA state tournament beginning July 11 in Arcadia.