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Lake George claims baseball crown (updated with videos)

From the PREP ROUNDUP: Stories, photos and videos from Friday's high school sports action series
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Adirondack league baseball

Salem-Cambridge first baseman Nate Twitchell reaches with the ball as Lake George's Cameron Orr returns to the bag during the Adirondack League baseball championship at East Field. Orr was safe.

GLENS FALLS — Luke Sheldon and Brody McCabe have been working together as a battery for several years.

No surprise, the pair of Lake George juniors was a rock-solid combination for the Warriors baseball team Friday night at East Field.

With McCabe behind the plate, Sheldon struck out 14 batters, and they scored the final two runs as Lake George rallied for a 6-4 Adirondack League championship victory over Salem-Cambridge.

Sheldon scored the go-ahead run on Nate Hohman’s sac fly in the bottom of the sixth, and McCabe added an insurance run on a balk three at-bats later.

“I trust my catcher a lot — we’ve been playing together since Little League,” said Sheldon, who struck out the side twice and scattered six singles with one walk. “I just did what I had to do to get the job done. I trusted my team to make plays and that’s what they did.”

“It feels very good, definitely something I’ve looked forward to since we were little kids,” McCabe said of the league title. “They’re a good team — we expected nothing less from them. We pieced it together here and there, and that’s what baseball’s about.”

The Warriors, who improved to 12-1 overall, had to manufacture some runs after falling behind 4-1. As a team, Lake George stole 12 bases.

In the Warriors’ fourth, Yogi Johnson doubled and scored on Cameron Orr’s fielder’s choice. In the fifth, Max Dickinson drove in a run, then scored on an error to pull Lake George into a 4-4 tie.

In the sixth, Sheldon and McCabe each stole second and third to set themselves up for runs.

“It was a real nice win — these kids don’t get worried when we get behind. We’ve come from behind several times this year,” said Pete Puricelli, who came out of retirement to coach Lake George this year. “We kept chipping away. We finally did some better situational hitting toward the end of the game — I think that was huge.”

“Nothing we can’t handle,” said Sheldon, who pitched a three-hitter in a 13-3 win over Salem-Cambridge last month. “We came back earlier in the season. We were down against Hadley in the semifinal (Wednesday).”

Salem-Cambridge (10-6) had started off strong, with starting pitcher Jackson Thomas helping his own cause by driving in his team’s first three runs, both on singles. Nate Twitchell added a sac fly in the fourth for a 4-1 lead.

After that, Sheldon really locked in. He retired the next eight batters, striking out seven. Then, after issuing his only walk, he induced a flyout to end the game.

“We realized how well they were catching up on the curveball — it was starting to hang a little bit, so we went back with outside corner, because he can locate the ball very well,” McCabe said. “So we fell back on it, and he trusts himself, everybody trusts each other, and that’s all we can ask for.”

Both teams finished with six hits. Thomas struck out seven before giving way to James Toleman one batter into the sixth.

“They beat us — we didn’t beat ourselves, they beat us,” Salem-Cambridge coach Mark Eastman said. “They’re a tough team. It’s a tough league.

“We’re fortunate to be where we are,” Eastman added. “We were able to make enough plays to get here, and we beat a pretty good Granville team on Wednesday (in the semifinals). They’re a good bunch of kids, they work their butts off.”

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Covering high school and minor-league sports in Section II since 1989. SUNY Plattsburgh grad. Colleen's lesser half. Three amazing young people call me Dad. Fan of Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Mets, and Syracuse Orange.

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