After a runner-up finish in last year's Erie County American Legion Tournament, Lamm Post has made a strong return to take the regular season and postseason championships.
Lamm defeated Hamburg, two games to one in a best-of-three final to sweep the two American Legion local titles.
"This team is just that, a team in every sense of the word," said Lamm Post coach Fenton Harrison, after Thursday's 4-3 victory in the decisive Game Three. "We've had our share of problems but the guys have really picked each other up."
All-Western New York pitcher/outfielder Jim Wolf from Williamsville East struck out eight and scattered seven hits while going the distance in Game Three. A two-run home run by Bruce McKee in the first inning and a solo shot by Kevin Brown led to Lamm's win.
The champs had a disappointing 5-4 record to start the season and some doubted whether Lamm Post (11-5) would be able to turn things around.
"We had a lot of injuries," said Harrison. "But every night we got a big effort from a different player and eventually turned it up a notch."
Lamm won six straight at the end of the season, its only loss coming on the final day of the regular season against Depew.
Lamm had taken Game One, 6-4, while Hamburg came back to tie the series with an 11-7 win.
A balanced attack has paced Lamm this season. Wolf was 4-1 on the mound while batting .385. Catcher Scott Miller led the team with a .405 average, while first baseman McKee hit at a .391 clip.
On the mound, Dusty Baker was also 4-1, while Nick Sauder went 3-3.
Lamm advances to the American Legion District tournament that begins today at Amherst Recreation Center and California Road (Orchard Park), with games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Joining Lamm will be Hamburg (11-5), South Buffalo (10-6), Brounschidle (9-7), Tonawanda Post 264 (10-6) and Kensington (9-8). The other two teams in the round-robin tournament will be a representative from Orleans and Cattaraugus counties, respectively. . . . In the other playoff series: Tonawanda won its first series in the team's three-year history with a sweep of West Seneca. In Game One, Jeff Robertson and Jeff Ward combined for a six-hit shutout as Tonawanda won, 10-0. In Game Two, Charlie Smilinich struck out 18 batters in 10 innings as Dan Brick's game-winning single in top of the 12th inning gave Tonawanda a 6-5 victory. . . . South Buffalo defeated Glab two games to one. . . . Brounschidle defeated Kensington two games to none, including a 10-9 come-from-behind victory in Game One. Aaron Mierczwa homered and earned the win in relief. Brounschidle took Game Two, 2-1.
Lake Shore League
Today's games in the AABC Upper New York State tournament will be played at Green Lake diamonds in Orchard Park beginning at 11 a.m. Also, the Eastern Region representative is the South Troy Dodgers, and not Mama's Pizza as provided to The News last week. . . . Regular-season champion West-Herr (18-3) finished its season with a 12-8 win over Leib's (18-6) in a Lake Shore-Muny AAA contest. Jeff Johnston led the way with three hits and two RBIs while Brendan Scott added two hits, including a two-run home run. Matt Novo led Leib's with three hits and two RBIs.
West Falls (13-5) captured the Northern Division title, posting some impressive numbers along the way. West Falls outscored its opponents, 155-88, and finished 7-1 in division contests. Eric Huber finished his inaugural season in the Suburban League with a .528 average. Player/manager Rick Birdd hit .348 with 12 RBIs. Craig Bishop, led the team with a 7-1 record on the mound, a 1.48 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 61 innings, while batting .399 with 28 RBIs.
Mississippi Mudds (14-4) will be heading to Johnstown, Pa., to represent Western New York in the AAABA National Championships on Aug. 8. Mudds swept Doc's (11-6) in a best-of-three final. In Game Two, Mudds exploded for 11 runs in the third inning on its way to a 15-9 victory. John Christ and Pat Huntington each had three hits, while Ryan Mahoney added two. Bob Mettler went five innings for the win, giving up two runs on seven hits.
The round-robin tournament begins today. The field will include Allegany-Cattaraugus Southern Division winner Emporium, Pa. (15-1, returner from last year); Central League Northern Division winner West Falls (13-5, returned to the Central League this year after a three-year absence); Southern Division winner Fillmore (14-2, first trip since 1993); Erie-Niagara Northern Division winner Amherst Boulevard Kiwanis (17-7, returner from last year); and Southern Division winner Tonawanda JPs (21-2, last year's champion). . . . This weekend's schedule: Today -- West Falls at Emporium, Fillmore at Amherst, Tonawanda (bye); Sunday, -- West Falls at Fillmore, Emporium at Tonawanda, Amherst (bye). . . . Allegany-Cattaraugus Northern Division winner Olean withdrew from the All-Arounds after the schedule was made, so a bye was inserted.
The 21st annual Ted Rechlin Memorial Cup will begin at 3 p.m. today and run through Aug. 17. . . . Opening-round schedule: Lancaster (Erie-Niagara, last year's champion) at Kane (Allegany-Cattaraugus), East Aurora (Central) at Orchard Park (Lake Shore), Bradford Moose (Pa., Allegany-Cattaraugus) at Cheektowaga (Lake Shore), Clarence (Erie-Niagara) at Springville (Central), Alden (Erie-Niagara) at Belfast (Central), Delavan-Arcade (Central) at Lockport DMI (Erie-Niagara), North Tonawanda (Erie-Niagara) at Port Allegany (Pa., Alle-Catt). Lockport Bus (Erie-Niagara) will get a bye because Shinglehouse (Pa., Allegany-Cattaraugus) withdrew. Second-round games will be played Sunday. Home team will be decided by overall records.