MOREAU- The illustrious, unexpected campaign of the Lake George Warriors Baseball team to claim the 2010 Adirondack League title came to an end Friday, as the team lost a battle against a determined, focused Fort Ann team that won the crown they'd sought since last owning it in 2004.
The Cardinals earned the win Friday, with 6'3" pitcher Robert Sprague putting his whole lanky frame into every pitch through all seven innings.
His stellar pitching was backed up by some consistent slugging from some experienced players.
Cardinal Dan Nassivera started off Fort Ann's lead in the first inning with a two-run double.
Fort Ann scored on both a passed ball and a wild pitch - and Lake George couldn't recover.
Errors against such an experienced team make the critical difference, Lake George Coach Erik Hoover said.
"With their power, we can't give them a couple of extra outs," he said.
Lake George had soared to the top of the League during the season, behind a free-swinging lineup that knew how to keep the defense buttoned up. The first time Lake George took on Fort Ann this year, they won by a single run, just like the two previous matchups in prior years.
This year, with 10 seniors graduating, few expected such a strong winning season, but the Warriors continued to thrill their fans game after game, right down to Friday's matchup.
Despite Fort Ann's offensive momentum Friday in the game's first several innings, the Warriors did their best to fend it off, throwing out several runs at the plate during the fourth inning.
But in the sixth inning, the Fort Ann slugfest shifted into high gear as the Cards hit three consecutive triples.
Fort Ann Coach Dane Clark said he was happy with not only his team's solid hitting, but Sprague's stellar pitching.
"He was getting a little tired at the end, but I wasn't going to take him out of the game," Clark said.
In the Warrior effort, ace J.D. Jenkins served on the mound, and teammates Curtis McCoy, Willy Blunt, J.D. Jenkins and Vinnie Crocitto all hit doubles.
Hoover said that despite the loss, he was pleased with his players, and he had high hopes for upcoming sectional competition.
"I was impressed with our fight at the end," he said. "We could have been a lot deeper in the hole."