The Enterprise sports page was loaded with local stories and included a couple of bylines — Brian McCarthy on the first story below and Jim Stowell on the next one. It’s too bad at that time that most reporters didn’t use their bylines. There is a third story after that with a great lead paragraph but no byline.
Splitting Age Groups in Little League
“Little 9-year-old Johnny steps to the plate to face huge Jimmy, three years his elder, on the mound Jimmy rears back and unleashes a pitch that seems to Johnny 100 miles an hour and headed straight for him.
“Petrified, Johnny bails out of the batter’s box as the ball sails into the catcher’s mitt for a strike.
“Too many Johnnys play ball in fear of the older and bigger Jimmys, say organizers of the Saranac Lake Little League. To alleviate this fear and to help increase the waning number of players, plans are underway to form two leagues – one for 9- and 10-year-olds and one for 11- and 12-year-olds.
“‘You see too many situations of a great big Timmy Turner pitching to little kids who are so afraid they jump out before the ball is pitched,’ said Frank Turner, co-commissioner of the program along with Chuck Bell.
“A number of players dropping out of Little League or not even starting baseball because they are afraid to step into the batter’s box again, or until they are 12 years old, Turner added.
“The 9- and 10-year-olds who are afraid or do not play well, often do not get as much playing time as they should. This means the lack of playing experience and development of skills will be lacking as they move up to higher echelons of baseball from Little League to Larry Doyle League to junior varsity and varsity at the high school level.
‘There has been some opposition from coaches and parents from teams in the league but outside of Saranac Lake — Lake Clear, Paul Smiths, Vermontville and Bloomingdale because they lack the numbers to field two separate teams.”
Tip Top Electric Doyle League Champs
“Brent Denis, who singled in two runs to tie the game in darkening skies, stole two bases and scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give Tip Top Electric of Tupper Lake the Larry Doyle League championship.
“Denis’s winning run climaxed a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh after Lake Placid American Legion scored once in the top of the inning to take a 10-8 lead in the see-saw contest.
“The championship contest pitted the No. 2 and 4 teams from the regular season. Tip Top was second, finishing its season with a 9-2 mark. Lake Placid was fourth, ending with a 6-4 mark and an upset of Bloomingdale (10-1) in the semifinals.
“Tip Top had just five hits in the contest, but took advantage of six Lake Placid errors, 13 walks, a hit batsman and several wild pitches. How much advantage was evident in the first inning, when Tip Top plated two runs without a hit. Denis reached second on an error and moved to third on a stolen base and wild pitch before scoring on Jason Duval’s bounce out.”
It’s long story but here is a brief Lake Placid play-by-play:
“Lake Placid scored once in the third as William McNair, who had singled, eventually scored on a wild pitch. It then took a 6-5 lead in the fourth, scoring four times on four hits.
“Jason Colby led off with a walk and Phil Beaney doubled. One out later, Mike Strack singled in one run and David Salls singled home two teammates to knot the score. Salls came around to score on Mike Beaney’s single.
“Tip Top tied the score at 6-6 when LaRocque singled, stole second and came around on two wild pitches.”
The Black Fly Championship Reply
“You’ve had the Ali-Frazier rematch and the Celtics-Lakers and the Yankees-Dodgers series. Now you’ve got the Back Door and Waterhole Sharks face off tonight at Petrova in a classic rematch of last year’s championship series in the first game of a best of five series to determine the winner of the Black Fly Softball League.
“The Back Door which swept the Sharks in three games in last year’s title bout, withstood Club 86’s upset bid to record a 5-4 win Wednesday to clinch its semifinal series in two games. The Sharks won their shot at the rematch when they clinched their series with a 10-2 win over Ted’s Grocery Wednesday at Petrova.
“It looked like a rematch would be delayed after Club 86 stormed out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning at Ray Brook. The Back Door rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. It added a run in the fifth for a two run advantage.
“Tom Sullivan cut the lead to 5-4 when he hit an inside the park home run in the bottom of the fifth.
“Kevin Magurk was the winning pitcher while Craig Catalano suffered the loss.
“The sharks had an easier time getting to the finals as they routed Ted’s Grocery on the strength of 11 hits and 10 runs at Petrova.
“Vinnie Pelletieri, John McDougall, Rick Yorkey and John O’Brien all clubbed two hits apiece to lead the winners. Bill Peria was the winning pitcher. Ted Fountain was tagged with the loss.”