LEGENDS WIN BIG — The five-time tournament champion Lake View Legends include from left, first row: Declan Wyman, Russell Donaldson, Jacob Donaldson, Kyle Jarosz, Mark “Face” Lanning and Sean Dlugosz. Second row: Dan Dlugosz, Cal Tomaka, Jacob Kleese, Alex Monaco, Alex Dzimian and Pierce Drake. Third row: coaches’ Brian Lanning, Dave Dlugosz and Ron Donaldson.
Lake View travel teams in the 8-, 9- and 10-and-younger divisions all reached playoff championship games.
The Lake View 8-U team won its fifth straight game, in beating Evans 22 – 11. The offense was fueled by multiple hits from the trio of Dominic Calandra, Lucas Ingrando and Blake Micuccia. Fielding by Parker Wojokowski and Jimmy Puleo helped shorten rallies by the Evans team. The win set up a championship matchup against crosstown rival Hamburg, in which Lake View fell short.
The Lake View Lightning 9-U team gave an earlier loss to the West Seneca Wolverines, behind pitching by Evan Prizel, Cole Eckman and Nick Schulz, during a 5 – 0 win. Lake View struck first, when Markus Stahlka drove in Nick Schulz. Aidan Meade went 1 for 3 and was quick on defense. Tyler Hager, Max Taylor and Nick Schulz added RBI for the Lightning. Defensive gems by Jack Zuchlewski and Justin Coyne helped preserve the shutout. Cole Eckman received the game’s “Dig Deep Award” for his performance on the mound. The Lightning lost to the Arcade team, as they played in the Southtowns championship game for the second straight year.
The 10-U Legends had to run the gantlet in the playoffs, to capture the Southtowns League Championship. The Legends won, by beating Orchard Park 13 – 9, after knocking off top-ranked Nickel City.
Lake View opened the playoffs by beating third-seed West Seneca 16 – 3. Kyle Jarosz drilled a three-run triple, to break open the close game. Also having winning days at the plate were Jacob Donaldson, with two hits and four runs, Sean Dlugosz with two hits and two runs, Declan Wyman with three hits and two runs and Pierce Drake and Alex Dzimian, who each notched three hits.
Against Nickel City, the quartet of Lake View pitchers – Alex Monaco, Alex Dzimian, Sean Dlugosz and Dan Dlugosz – held its high-scoring opponent to just runs, during the 11 – 3 win. A balanced offense, led by Jarosz, both Dlugoszs, Donaldson and Wyman, never relented against the Nickel City pitching staff. Defense by Jacob Kleese, Cal Tomaka and Russell Donaldson ended potential Nickel City rallies.
During its last obstacle, against second-seed Orchard Park, Lake View amassed a quick 3 – 0 lead in the top of the first and never looked back. Mark Lanning provided the spark, as he ripped a single up the middle. He was followed by a Sean Dlugosz triple, Alex Dzimian single, Dan Dlugosz triple and Alex Monaco double. The offensive stars were Dan Dlugosz, who finished 3 for 3 with four RBI, and Jacob Donaldson and Alex Dzimian, each with two hits and two runs.
The Legends ended their season in a winning fashion, 22 – 3 during their last 25 games, while winning five championships across WNY.