2011 Tigers made history reaching state semis

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 April 2020 at 9:10 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Lyndonville’s Josh Brabon collides with Livingston Manor catcher Dillon Taggart during the 2011 state semifinal game at Johnson City.

Lyndonville High has had a long, rich history of success on the baseball diamond.

However, Lyndonville’s peak campaign of postseason success came just nine years ago when the Tigers 2011 squad reached the state semifinals.

That memorable spring Coach Shane Price’s Tigers first captured the Section V Class DD title with a come-from-behind 7-4 win over Gensee Region League foe Notre Dame.

Trailing 4-2, Lyndonville rallied with a big five run scoring burst in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead for good.

A leadoff single by Alex Rodriquez followed by a double by Brooks Boyle put runners at second and third igniting the uprising. The Tigers then scored five times on a sacrifice fly by Josh Brabon, an error, a triple by Jared Preedom, a single by Andy Hydock and a triple by Joe Burgess.

Lyndonville’s Alex Rodriguez dives for the ball during the Tigers Far West Regional win over Pine Valley at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.

A double play triggered by Boyle in the top of the fifth inning gave the Tigers the momentum.

However, it had taken an 11 inning 4-3 win over Alfred-Almond in the semifinals to get Lyndonville into the title contest.

The Tigers scored the game winner as Burgess reached on a fielders choice, went to second on an error, to third n a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly by Rodriquez.

Lyndonville earned it’s first ever berth in the state playoffs by downing Webster Christian 10-4 in the Section V Class D state qualifier game.

The Tigers took the lead for good at the outset on a two-run single by Ken Urbanik in the first inning.

Three more runs in the third on an RBI double by Preedom and a pair of errors upped the lead to 5-1. RBI singles by Jimmy White in the fifth, Preedom in the sixth and a run producing triple by Burgess in the seventh helped put a lock on the victory.

Keeping the momentum, Lyndonville then defeated Section VI champion Pine Valley 12-6 in the Far West Regional to gain a spot in the state semis.

Breaking away from a 2-2 deadlock, Lyndonville took charge by exploding for eight runs on seven hits in the bottom of the fifth inning.

A lead-off single by Urbanik and a walk set the stage for the decisive uprising. Hydock, Burgess, Rodriguez, Boyle and Brabon then all banged out run producing singles. The other three tallies came home on a bunt by Ryan Lilley, a fielders choice play off the bat of Urbanik and an error vaulting the Tigers out to a commanding 10-2 lead.

That victory propelled Lyndonville into the state semifinals at Johnson City near Binghamton where the Tigers saw Livingston Manor from Section IX rally late to claim a 7-4 victory.

Lyndonville did build up a 4-0 advantage by scoring three times in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Hydock, a wild pitch and a bases loaded walk, and once in the top of the  sixth as Preedom tripled and came home on an error.

However, Livingston Manor answered back with a decisive seven run rally in the home half of the sixth on five hits, two walks and an error to claim the win and a spot in the state final.

Price’s Tigers have also captured Section V titles in both 2013 ( 1-0 over Fillmore in Class DD) and 2017 (6-2 over Fillmore in Class D1) and overall have reached the Section V Class finals seven times over the last 13 years.

The 2013 Tigers squad went on to defeat Whitesville 8-3 in the Section V Class D state qualifier but then lost 3-2 in the Far West Regional to Pine Valley which avenged the 2011 loss.

Over the past 70 years Lyndonville has had two other big post season title runs.

First, under Coach Arnie Hartsen, Lyndonville captured four Section V championships four times during the 1950’s (1951, 1953, 1955 and 1959).

Then, under Coach John Hayes, the Tigers likewise captured four Section V titles in 1982, 1983, 1994 and 1996.