Green Dragons overtake Streaks
Mark Pinson | Highlands TodayLAKE PLACID - It may be early in the season, but the rivalry on the diamond between Lake Placid and Sebring was intense as ever in Tuesday night's contest.
Published: February 21, 2013
Published: February 21, 2013
Lake Placid senior second baseman Rick Miller came through with a two-out, game-winning single to cap a three-run rally to give the Green Dragons a stunning 5-4 win over the Blue Streaks.
"It feels amazing to beat Sebring in my last home game against them," said Miller. "We beat them the same way last year, and it never gets old beating the Blue Streaks."
The come-from-behind victory improved the Green Dragons to 1-2 on the season.
"Hopefully this win will help us get on a roll," Miller said. "We haven't had much luck so far, but we didn't get down when we were behind and we showed a lot of heart in coming back to win."
The tough loss saw the Blue Streaks even their record at 3-3.
"We won the first five innings, but you have to give Lake Placid credit because they won the last two," said Sebring baseball coach Buck Rapp. "They battled and fought and did what they had to do to get a win.
"We're not swinging the bats like we can and we've got to improve some things."
Sebring jumped in front in the top of the first inning as Jordan Austin walked, moved to second base on a wild pitch and raced home on an RBI single by Cullen Lovett off of Lake Placid right-hander Jacob Cram.
A pair of Green Dragon errors allowed Lovett to score, but a runner was picked off third base with the bases loaded for the final out to keep the score at 2-0.
Sebring's Jonathan Struck was masterful on the mound, as the left-hander utilized a fastball and a devastating change-up to limit Lake Placid to one hit to go with eight strikeouts in four scoreless innings.
The Blue Streaks tacked on a run in the top of the third inning as Wyatt Johnson smacked a run-scoring single to center field for a 3-0 lead. Sebring tallied another run in the fifth inning when Johnson drove in Justin Acevedo with a single to left field for a commanding 4-0 lead.
Keat Waldron came on in relief for Struck, who was on a pitch count, but the right-hander struggled with his control and issued a walk and gave up a single.
C.J. Payne relieved Waldron and struck out Miller, but gave up an RBI single to Morgan Lott and was called for consecutive balks to allow another run to cross the plate to pull the Green Dragons to 4-2.
Lake Placid's Cody Lambert came on for Cram in the fifth inning with two outs and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Right-hander Heath Harris hurled a scoreless seventh inning to keep the Green Dragons close.
Payne started the bottom of the seventh by issuing a walk to Nathan Stanley, who moved to second base on a wild pitch. Laine Daum walked and was pinch-run for by Josh Zahn.
A wild pitch moved the runners up, and a balk scored Stanley to make it 4-3, with Zahn moving to third base, Payne bore down to record a strikeout and got a pop-up to second base for the second out.
It looked like the hard-throwing right-hander would escape the jam when he forced Tyler Carr to hit a ground ball to third base, but a low throw in the dirt allowed Carr to reach base and Zahn to score to tie the game.
Carr advanced to second base on a wild pitch, Justin LaRosa walked and Garrett DeRoss was brought on in relief.
Miller greeted DeRoss with a ground ball single up the middle that caromed off the shortstop's glove into short center field, allowing Carr to race home with the winning run.
The emotion and passion of the Green Dragon players was evident as they mobbed each other, as the Blue Streaks trudged dejectedly off the field.
"We didn't play well, but we played hard," said Lake Placid baseball coach Dan Coomes. "We stuck with it, we didn't give up and we played with a lot of intensity.
"Rick has been struggling at the plate, but that's a nice way to break out of it. And it's always nice to come away with a win against Sebring."
Lake Placid is back on the diamond with a road game at Bartow tonight, while Sebring hosts DeSoto on Friday night.
"We're going to keep fighting to improve," Rapp said. "So long as we're better in April than we are now, that's the main thing."
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