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Diamond stars

Lake Placid, Saranac Lake players named to all-CVAC teams

June 18, 2019
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

Four Lake Placid baseball players and one member of the Saranac Lake Red Storm were recognized for their solid seasons by being selected to Champlain Valley Athletic Conference all-star teams

Blue Bombers Matt Brandes, Scott Sharlow and Jesse Izzo were chosen as Division II all-stars, teammate Jake Coursen was an honorable mention pick, and Saranac Lake's Jaden Gladd garnered honorable mention recognition.

Lake Placid's senior-laden team went 9-6 overall, which was the best record the Blue Bombers posted since their move to the CVAC in 2001. Three of those losses came against Ticonderoga, which went on to win the New York state Class C title on Saturday.

Article Photos

From the left, Lake Placid seniors Jake Coursen, Jesse Izzo and Scott Sharlow gather near the pitcher’s mound on a rainy day on the Blue Bombers field.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Sharlow, Izzo and Coursen are all seniors who joined Lake Placid's varsity club as freshmen and Brandes is a sophomore who completed his second season on the team.

Sharlow and Izzo were named Division II all-stars as pitchers and Brandes was selected as a outfielder.

Head coach Brian Brandes said not only was Sharlow the Blue Bombers' leader, he was also the best all-around player on the team. Sharlow led Lake Placid at the plate with a .415 batting average, rapping out 17 hits in 41 at bats in 13 games played. On the mound, he went 2-2 with victories over Northern Adirondack and Northeastern Clinton.

A pitching highlight for Sharlow was his win over NCCS, a performance that saw him give up just one run over six innings of work against the team that went on to win the Section VII, Class B title. Sharlow finished with a 2.55 earned run average in 35 2/3 innings pitched with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Izzo was Lake Placid's strikeout leader on the mound, fanning a team-high 43 batters in 25 innings pitched and posting a 3-2 record. He had a 3.64 ERA. Brandes said Izzo's true defensive prowess was at shortstop, where the senior played when not on the mound.

"I've been waiting eight or nine years for a true shortstop, and Jesse was it; a great shortstop arm," Brandes said.

At the plate, Izzo finished with a .250 average with 10 hits in 40 at-bats.

Matt Brandes stepped into Lake Placid's leadoff batter spot early in the season and produced. He was second on the team with a .342 average, with 13 hits in 38 at-bats. He led the team in runs scored with 16, walks with 14, and also on-base percentage, reaching base in more than half his trips to the plate. On defense, Brandes played both outfield and second base.

"Matty was a spark plug," coach Brandes said of his son.

Coursen joined Sharlow and Izzo as a strong pitching trio for Lake Placid, which was the team's strength, according to coach Brandes. He began the season as the Blue Bombers' closer and was also a solid starter later in the season. Coursen finished with a 3-1 pitching mark and picked up two saves on the way to posting a 3.45 ERA. Coursen struck out 38 batters in 24 1/3 innings pitched. He also played third base. Coursen finished with a .256 batting average with 10 hits in 39 at-bats. He also was walked eight times.

A highlight of Coursen's pitching efforts came in a 7-1 loss against Ticonderoga when he worked five innings and gave up just three earned runs. It was Coursen's first time as a starting pitcher this season.

"Jake is a big old, strong farm boy with a curve ball," coach Brandes said. "He had more hits in the beginning of the year, he was solid in the middle of the order and always a threat."

Gladd was the only Red Storm player to receive postseason CVAC honors, and head coach Kyle Mochol spoke highly of his senior catcher.

"Jaden was an everyday grinder behind the plate," Mochol said. "He started every game at catcher for us and only came out in one game for a couple of innings. Putting in that much work behind the plate is impressive.

"His presence was also felt on the offensive side of the ball where he frequently put the ball in play and put in his fair share of runs."



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