FREDERICK - Longmont and Erie were hoping to meet in the Class 4A state baseball tournament - just under different circumstances.
The two St. Vrain Valley teams aimed for a late afternoon showdown Friday, but a couple of hard-fought games, a tough reversal and the Trojans and Tigers will play Saturday morning instead.
The Tigers and Trojans were close to completing that scenario Friday but neither team could hold late leads. Delta used a five-run sixth inning and then held on to beat Erie, 7-6, in the first game of the day, and then Pueblo West outlasted Longmont, 6-5, in 10 innings to send the Trojans to the consolation bracket.
"You know when you get to this point you get two (losses)," Erie coach Harold Simmons said. "Every team we play is going to be a good team so you have to battle your butts off and you're winning or losing close games."
Both had a chance to pull out the close games but missed opportunities. For Longmont, its first loss of the tournament will be remembered for a reversed call that helped send its game into extra innings.
With the Trojans leading 5-4 in the sixth and the bases loaded, reliever Reece Cardenes got Lucas Quimby to fly out to centerfielder Cooper Rothe. Rothe threw to shortstop Kavan Andrew, whose relay to Matt Zamudio at third got Cody McAteer tagging up from second for the third out.
The home plate umpire ruled the out came before D.J. Cordova touched home tagging up from third, nullifying the run and sending the Longmont bench into a celebration. Cyclones coach Dan Sanchez protested the call, the three umpires huddled and then reversed the call.
Instead of being a one-run lead with three outs to go, the game went into extra innings.
"He signaled the out happened before he crossed the plate," Longmont coach Tom Fobes said of the home plate umpire. "He went out and the other two guys talked him out of it. I didn't think that was right. I think that was his call alone. I didn't think that was a play you could ask for help on.
"If he was safe, he's just got to make the call."
After three scoreless innings, Pueblo West won it on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th. Longmont had the tying run on third with two outs in the bottom of the inning but a great play by Quimby at short got Noah Befus at first to end the game.
"We didn't execute a couple of times, we couldn't get the runner over to second base early enough," Fobes said. "We just couldn't push him across."
The loss spoiled a good relief appearance for Ryan Rulon. His softer repertoire had the Coyotes off balance for his three innings.
"That's pretty much my role - get guys out front and get ground balls," Rulon said.
Rulon wasn't expecting to pitch Friday but came on after Austin Hassler pulled a muscle in his right hip after throwing one-plus inning. Fobes said that he planned on having Hassler pitch Saturday but would go with Befus if Hassler can't go.
Either pitcher will face an Erie team feeling it also missed a chance to advance. The Tigers were cruising into the sixth but Delta sent 10 batters to the plate and turned a 4-1 deficit into a 6-4 lead off Ruben Portillo. The big blow was Damon's Jensen two-run triple to cap the rally.
"He tomahawked it. It's not where we want to be with the curveball, but we're surprised he's swinging at that," Simmons said. "He hit the heck out of it."
Justin Violett's solo homer in the top of the seventh proved to be the difference. The Tigers scored twice in the bottom of the frame but the game ended when Luke Conilogue, who homered in the second, flew out to deep center with Nick Gavit on first.
"Luke squared that ball up pretty good," Simmons said. "If it's left or right our guy probably scores and ties the ballgame."
Instead, the Tigers are facing Longmont on Saturday at 10 a.m. at All-Star Park in Lakewood, with the winner facing Mountain View immediately after.
Delta 7, Erie 6
At Frederick H.S.
Delta 010 005 1 — 7 10 2
Erie 012 010 2 — 6 6 0
W — Blake Reiher. L — Ruben Portillo.
Delta hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jensen 4-02-2, Reiher 3-0-1-0, Keller 3-1-1-0, Violett 2-2-2-1, Brown 3-0-0-0, Carmichael 4-1-1-2, Reeder 4-0-1-0, McCurdy 3-1-2-2, McWhinney 3-1-0-0. Totals 29-7-10-7. 2B —Reiher, Violett. 3B —Jensen. HR —Violett (none on in 7th).
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Crites 4-1-1-0, Elliston 3-1-0-0, Allen 4-1-2-0, Gavit 4-1-1-1, Conilogue 3-1-2-2, Sorenson 3-0-0-0, Villa 3-0-0-0, Portillo 2-0-0-0, Deckert 2-0-0-0. Totals 28-5-6-3. 2B — Crites, Gavit. HR —Conilogue (none on in 2nd). SB —Crites.
Delta pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Horn 4-4-4-3-1-2; Reiher 3-2-2-1-1-2.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Portillo 5 2/3-9-6-6-4-3; Lutgens 1/3-0-0-0-1-0; Sackett 1-1-1-1-0-0.
Pueblo West 6, Longmont 5, 10 innings
Pueblo West 010 211 000 1 — 6 13 2
Longmont 011 030 000 0 — 5 10 0
W — Dabovich. L — Rulon.
Pueblo West hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — I. Garcia 6-1-2-0, Quimby 3-0-1-1, Arguto 5-0-2-1, Tate 4-2-2-0, Drury 4-0-0-0, A. Garcia 5-1-1-0, L. Jameson 3-1-2-1, Cordova 0-0-0-0, Wagner 0-0-0-0, K. Jameson 0-1-0-0, Dabovich 1-0-1-0, McAteer 3-0-2-1 . Totals 34-6-13-4. SB —I. Garcia, McAteer.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rothe 4-1-2-0, Voydat 5-1-1-0, M. Peterson 5-0-1-0, Andrew 4-1-1-0, Hassler 3-0-2-2, A. Peterson 1-2-0-0, Moroyoqui 4-0-2-2-, Befus 5-0-1-0, Zamudio 3-0-0-0, Rulon 3-0-0-0 Totals 37-5-10-3. 2B — Hassler. SB —Roteh, M. Peterson, Moroyoqui, Zamudio.
Pueblo West pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Arguto 4 2/3-5-5-5-4-2; Wagner 1/3-1-0-0-0-0; Dabovich 5-4-0-0-0-1.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Renck 5 1/3-8-5-5-3-5; Cardenes 2/3-2-0-0-0-0; Hassler 1-0-0-0-1-0; Rulon 3-3-1-1-1-0.