BLOOMINGDALE - In a game befitting of a championship final, the Elks Lodge #1508 captured the Saranac Lake Youth Baseball Association Major League title with a 10-9 victory over the Bloomingdale Fire Department Thursday evening.
As the undefeated regular-season champs and the top seed in the playoffs, Bloomingdale hosted the matchup on the fire department's field, and fans were treated to a dramatic back-and-forth contest.
After grabbing a 4-2 lead in the opening inning, the visiting Elks Lodge players rallied late and won the contest by scoring two runs in their final at-bat.
Players and coaches from the Elks Lodge #1508 celebrate their championship victory Thursday. Included in the photo are team members Jacob Statlander, Ethan Paye, Tyler Callaghan, Brooks Fletcher, Liam McCloskey, Witter Swanson, Emery Swanson, Jacob Shipman, Brandon Meyer, Brett Dawson, Jarrett Ashton, Adam Branch, Dawson Hough, Tyler Martin, Sam Ranson and coaches Bob Meyer, Jeff Branch and Randall Swanson.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
It marked the second straight game that the Elks players mounted a last-inning comeback to stay alive in the postseason. In last week's semifinal matchup, they erased a 13-5 deficit by scoring 10 runs in the sixth frame to reach Wednesday's final.
In the championship tilt, the Elks scored four times in the top of the first to lead 4-0, and Bloomingdale answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. The hosts added another run in the second to make it a 4-3 contest and the Elks upped their edge to 7-3 with a three-run top of the third. Bloomingdale then scored five runs over the next two innings, including four in the fourth, to take an 8-7 lead.
The teams scored one run each in the fifth, which left Bloomingdale clinging to a 9-8 edge heading into the final frame. In the inning, the Elks scored twice to regain the lead at 10-9, and then held Bloomingdale off the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth to clinch the championship.
Bloomingdale was last year's Major League champion and won this year's regular season with a 10-0 mark. The Elks Lodge #1508 finished its schedule with a 6-4 record and won two playoff games to end the campaign at 8-4 overall.
Players from both teams that competed Thursday, as well as additional 11- and 12-year-olds from the league, will join together on a select squad to compete Saturday and Sunday in the Plattsburgh All-Star Tournament.