BROOMFIELD — For the past two seasons, the Holy Family baseball team has opened with a two-for-one doubleheader against a pair of teams from down south in Pueblo.
Last season, senior captain Kennedy Phillips made the trip to Pueblo but couldn't play since he was battling pneumonia at the time. This year's season-opening double-dip was at home in Broomfield on Saturday and Phillips was ready to make up for lost time a year ago.
The Tigers, who have won three state titles since 2010 and finished last season with a 12-7 record, beat Pueblo County 10-8 and Pueblo Central 4-3 Saturday. Kennedy was at the heart of the action all day.
"Last year I drove down there and told coach that I felt good and I was ready to go, even though there was no way I could have played," said Phillips, who will play at Regis University next season. "Being out here today for my senior year with some of my best friends, it was great to be a part of this to start the season."
Phillips turned the season's first two games into a 4-for-6 day with four RBIs.
In the first game of the day, the Tigers (2-0) pounded out 15 hits and raced out to an early lead against Pueblo County (1-1) with starting pitcher Griffin Heller picking up his first win of the season. But the game wasn't without its defensive miscues and tense moments. Four Tigers errors helped allow the visiting Hornets to mount a comeback.
With the Tigers up 10-8, junior pitcher Cameron Miller entered in the top of the six with two runners on and two outs. After walking the first batter he faced, Miller induced a bases-loaded ground out to end the inning. With some defensive help from Phillips, who was playing catcher and threw out a runner trying to advance to third on a ball in the dirt, Miller pitched a shutout ninth to pick up the save.
"It's just always a team effort," Miller said after the first game. "Coming out in the first game of the season, there's always going to be rust. We're never going to come out firing on all cylinders but we did what we needed to do to win today. I was feeling good, the curve was feeling good, and I just knew that if they put it in play, my guys would get the outs. Now it's just on to the next one."
In the next one, Phillips started the game on the mound against Pueblo Central (0-1) and allowed two runs through four innings. Freshman Zach Becker relieved Phillips and threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win, which was a welcome sight since the Tigers are expecting a lot out of their underclassmen in 2016.
"I did OK on the mound and then our freshman Zach Becker came in and finished it off," Phillips said. "We've got some young guys who are coming up quick and we'll need them this year. That's good news for the future."
The Tigers have a break from game action until they host Tri-Valley League opponent Berthoud on March 21.
Holy Family 10, Pueblo County 8
At Holy Family H.S.
Pueblo County 003 302 0 — 8 11 2
Holy Family 223 030 x — 10 15 4
W — Heller. SV — Miller.
Pueblo County hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rodriguez 5-2-1-1, McCabe 5-2-3-2, Talton 4-0-1-1, Gonzales 4-1-1-1, Bono 4-0-1-0, Montoya 2-0-0-0, Bensko 1-0-0-0, Romero 3-0-2-2, Gilmore 2-1-1-0, Cook 3-2-1-0, Lillard 0-0-0-0. Totals 33-8-11-7. 2B — Rodriguez.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Becker 2-2-1-1, Karty 4-2-2-2, Phillips 3-0-3-2, Elliott 0-1-0-0, Coufal 4-0-3-2, Miller 3-0-1-2, Nelson 4-1-2-0, Rode 4-1-1-0, Trujillo 4-1-0-0, Sasser 4-2-2-0, Heller 0-0-0-0, Clingmon 0-0-0-0, Martin 0-0-0-0, Brassil 0-0-0-0. Totals 32-10-15-9. 2B — John, Kennedy.
Pueblo County pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bensko 2-5-4-0-0-0, Gonzales 4-10-6-5-0-6.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Heller 3-5-6-3-2-1, Clingmon 1-1-0-0-1-2, Brassil 1.2-2-0-0-0-0, Miller 1-2-0-0-0-0.
Holy Family 4, Pueblo Central 3
At Holy Family H.S.
Pueblo Central 011 010 0 — 3 11 0
Holy Family 300 010 x — 4 8 2
W — Becker.
Pueblo Central hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cardova 4-0-0-0, Casados 4-1-3-0, Arellano 4-0-3-0, Leblanc 0-1-0-0, Johnson 4-0-1-1, Puga 2-0-0-0, Santry 1-0-0-0, Calderon 3-1-2-1, Gornick 3-0-0-0, Salazar 2-0-1-0, Espinosa 3-0-1-1, Martin 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-3-11-3. SB — Leblanc.
Holy Family Central hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Becker 4-1-1-0, Karty 4-0-1-0, Phillips 3-2-1-2, Coufal 2-1-1-0, Miller 3-0-0-0, Nelson 2-0-1-0, Martin 1-0-0-0, Rode 3-0-2-1, Elliott 0-0-0-0, Trujillo 3-0-1-0, Brassil 0-0-0-0, Clingmon 1-0-0-0, Seifkin 0-0-0-0, Sasser 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-4-8-3. HR — Phillips. SB — Karty, Becker.
Pueblo Central pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Puga 4.2-7-4-4-2-5, Salazar 0.2-1-0-0-1-0, Gornick 0.2-0-0-0-0-0.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Phillips 4-7-2-2-1-2, Becker 3-4-1-0-0.