---- — PLATTSBURGH — After winning their quarterfinal games last Sunday, the Fourth Ward A’s and Fourth Ward Cardinals will need to set their sights higher today.
The Champlain Valley Baseball League will begin its best-of-three semifinal series today, with the top-seeded Lyon Mountain Miners hosting the fourth-seeded A’s in a doubleheader at the Big Ball Diamond, and the second-seeded Meron’s Expos versus the third-seeded Cardinals at Lefty Wilson Field. Both twinbills start at noon.
The Miners, who won the regular season title, and Expos both earned byes in last Sunday’s opening round of the playoffs.
The A’s advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 quarterfinal win over the fifth-seeded Peabody’s Padres as Brian Burns outlasted Frank Brogna in a pitching duel. Burns, the former standout at Plattsburgh State, tossed a one-hitter, struck out 11 and walked two.
The A’s, however, will have to contend with a Lyon Mountain team that is getting an outstanding season from pitcher David Waldron. Waldron, in 42 innings, has a 7-0 record to go along with 46 strikeouts and just 26 hits allowed.
Tory Bouyea (.500), Kris Chase (.452) and Reilly Lawless (.425) are the leading hitters for the Miners.
Meanwhile, the sixth-seeded Fourth Ward Timberjaxx gave the Cardinals a run for their money before the Cardinals pushed across five runs in the sixth for a 7-3 win.
Frank Buksa was the hitting star for the Cardinals, going three-for-three, including a home run, two doubles and two RBI. Tom Neale went six innings for the pitching win.
Billy Davis is hitting .500 for the Expos and has been a workhorse on the mound, pitching 66 innings with a 5-5 record and 2.30 ERA. Glenn Engstrom is batting .436 and Cliff Conners .400.