LONGMONT --Although certainly heartfelt, it was a subdued celebration for the Broomfield baseball team on Saturday.
It's not that the Eagles were not pleased with capturing the Northern League crown with two games still remaining in the regular season. Broomfield simply does not want to jinx the remarkable run being put together by pitchers Brandon Bailey and Jackson Lockwood.
After watching Bailey shut out Class 4A No. 5-ranked Longmont on Thursday, Lockwood followed suit on Saturday, firing a complete game shutout as the sixth-ranked Eagles clinched the conference championship with a 6-0 victory.
"I felt really good and I learned a lot from Brandon on Thursday about how to pitch to their hitters," Lockwood said. "Who's looking for fastballs, who can't hit curve balls. These were two games that we had circled that we really wanted to win."
The win marked the sixth straight for Broomfield, which has watched Bailey and Lockwood combine for four shutouts during that span. In those six games the duo has collected three wins apiece while allowing only one earned run over 42 innings.
Lockwood, who recorded 10 strikeouts, improved to 6-1 while lowering his earned-run average to 1.04. He scattered four hits while issuing only one walk.
"When we faced them on Thursday, they were 9-1 (in the league), and you don't get to 9-1 just because," said Broomfield coach Garren Estes, whose club completes the regular season with a home-and-home set next week against Silver Creek.
"We didn't take anything for granted. Even after we got them on Thursday, we knew they were going to come after us again. We knew we'd have to jump on them and keep putting pressure on them."
Broomfield (13-4, 12-0 Northern League) kept chipping away at Longmont starter Dylan Pollock, taking a 2-0 led on RBI singles by Bailey and Ben Martinez in the third inning. Hayden Estes, who paced the Broomfield attack by going 4 for 4 with three RBIs out of the No. 9 spot, extended the Eagles' lead to 3-0 with an RBI single in the fourth.
"This just gives us a better cushion for the playoffs," Hayden Estes said. "We've just got to keep it up. I was just going for fastballs. I know at the nine spot I have to get on for the top of the lineup to bring me in. We can't let up. We just have to keep rolling and take this into the playoffs."
Lockwood and Estes added RBI hits in the sixth and seventh, respectively, as Broomfield secured the conference crown. For Longmont (12-5, 9-3), the Trojans will look to use next week's final regular season series against Thompson Valley as an opportunity to shake off the back-to-back shutouts while recouping some momentum for the postseason.
After a 9-1 start, the Trojans have gone 3-4 in their past seven games.
"Those (Broomfield) guys, both of them did a good job of changing speeds and hitting locations and making us very uncomfortable," Longmont coach Tom Fobes said. "We started out (Thursday) against Bailey, the first three innings I thought we were OK at the plate. Then we got uncomfortable and not putting good swings on the ball. Today, we started out that way."
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Broomfield 6, Longmont 0
At Longmont H.S.
Broomfield (13-4, 12-0) 002 101 2 -- 6 15 1
Longmont (12-5, 9-3) 000 000 0 -- 0 4 0
W -- Lockwood (6-1). L -- Pollock (4-2)
Broomfield (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Oliver 3-0-2-0, Bailey 4-0-1-1, Lockwood 3-1-2-1, Perez 3-0-0-0, Martinez 4-0-2-1, Gable 4-1-1-0, Arensdorf 3-1-1-0, Panicucci 1-1-1-0, McCulley 4-0-1-0, Estes 4-2-4-3. Totals 33-6-15-6. 2B -- Estes, Lockwood. SB -- Arensdorf.
Longmont (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Yee 3-0-1-0, Magee 2-0-1-0, Crist 3-0-0-0, Moroyoqui 3-0-1-0, Mau 3-0-1-0, Bladt 3-0-0-0, Leroux 3-0-0-0, Amen 2-0-0-0, Pollock 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-0-4-0. 2B -- Mau, Moroyoqui.
Broomfield (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Lockwood 7-4-0-0-1-10.
Longmont (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Pollock 6-11-4-4-3-3; Sterkel 1-4-2-2-0-0.