LONGMONT — Coaches have the uncanny ability to pick apart the most minuscule of details.
It's a gift.
But early in the season, even the most seasoned of coaches — including Longmont's Tom Fobes — are willing to overlook miscues if the players work hard in practice to overcome them and the team is winning games.
On Saturday afternoon, in the second of their Northern League home-and-home series with Greeley Central, Fobes' Trojans didn't play clean, but were good enough to complete the sweep over the Wildcats with a 7-6 victory.
"Two-and-oh is good and we'll take that anytime," said Fobes, whose team won the opener in Thursday in Greeley 9-3. "Thursday was good and we only had a few minor mistakes and played pretty good; today we had a few more and it shows with the closer score."
Fobes was quick to retract the mistakes comments, instead opting for "lack of execution/judgement," but was also able to find the many positives his team's overall effort on a unseasonably warm March day.
At the plate, Longmont was able to find timely hits and also made the Wildcats pay for their defensive lapses.
Tied 1-1 in the third, the Trojans had two of their first three hitters reach on Sage Hudson errors at second base.
First baseman Hayden Carson ripped a double to the left-centerfield gap that plated both Brady Renck and Avery Peterson. Carson would come around to score later on Michael Cox's single to right.
In the fourth, Longmont would mirror its three-run third inning with another three that included knocking Wildcats starter Robert Heiny out of the game. With the bases loaded and one out, Peterson delivered a two-run base hit off of reliever Cesar Loma.
"I was just paying attention the entire game and seeing what my teammates where doing and how they were trying to pitch them," said Peterson, who was on the back end of a double steal that allowed Renck to score the seventh run. "I was ready for the curveball."
Greeley Central (2-2 overall, 0-2 in the Northern) would claw back into it with three of their own in the top of the fifth and chase starter Noah Befus. Peterson took over and gave up three straight hits, including a two-run single to the right-centerfield fence by Heiny.
But Peterson would settle down and do what he needed to do to close out the game.
"I couldn't really find the strike zone when I first came in and I think I was just doing too much," Peterson said, "Trying to get too many strikes instead of letting the ball get hit and allowing my team to make plays."
Said Fobes, who will take his team on their annual trip to San Diego in a couple of weeks for one out-of-state game: "He started to find his curveball and locate his fastball a little better."
Dagin Renck and Michael Cox each had two hit games for the Trojans, who will face Mountain View next weekend before heading to California.
LONGMONT 7, GREELEY CENTRAL 6
Greeley Central (2-2, 0-2) 001 130 1 — 6 10 2
Longmont (2-0, 2-0) 103 300 x — 7 11 2
W — Noah Befus (1-0). L — Robert Heiny (0-1).
Greeley Central hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Xavier Bonham 4-0-0-0, Jarren Lesser 3-1-1-0, Cesar Loma 2-2-2-1, Erik Meza 0-1-0-0, Robert Heiny 4-1-1-3, Axel Villarreal 4-0-1-1, Gavan Blackburn 4-0-1-1, Jordan Cervantes 4-1-2-0, Sage Hudson 3-0-2-1, Michael Hunter 1-0-0-0, Brett Yackey 1-0-0-0, Raul Morales 3-0-1-0. Totals 29-6-10-6. 2B — Loma, Cervantes.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Matt Zamudio 3-2-1-0, Brady Renck 4-2-1-1, Noah Befus 4-0-0-0, Avery Peterson 3-0-1-2, Anthony Rodriguez 0-1-0-0, Hayden Carson 3-1-1-2, Alec Thompson 3-0-1-0, Grant Rulon 0-0-0-0, Dagin Renck 3-0-2-0, Michael Cox 2-0-2-1, Chris Gumeson 1-0-0-0, Kascen Deeter 3-1-2-0. Totals 29-7-11-6. 2B — Carson. 3B — Zamudio. SB — Rodriguez 2, D. Renck 2, Deeter, B. Renck.
Greeley Central pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Heiny 3+-7-6-3-1-0, Loma 3-4-1-1-0-1.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Befus 4.1-6-4-4-2-2, Peterson 2.2-4-2-1-0-0.