LONGMONT - Things have not gone well for the Longmont baseball team in the week since the Trojans jumped to Class 4A's top spot in the CHSAANow.com poll.
After trouncing San Diego-based High Tech SD the day after the latest rankings were released, misfortune hit the Trojans. They have since dropped a pair of games to unranked Northridge in heartbreaking fashion.
The Grizzlies (7-1, 4-0 Northern) walked off the Trojans (5-2, 4-2 Northern) last Thursday at Northridge and on Monday, the Trojans fell again to the Grizzlies. This time, they lost a three-run lead in the seventh inning to fall 10-7 at home.
"I don't even know what to say," Trojans head coach Tom Fobes said. "That just can't happen. They're a good team but I just can't believe that happened. We've had two really good pitching performances that we've lost at the end of the game. I really thought we were going to win this game but we just need to move forward. We need to move on."
Trojans starter Austin Hassler struggled in the first inning, allowing two runs on a hit, a walk, a hit batter and a balk. Hassler settled down after that, however, using his curveball to get out of trouble to pitch through the sixth inning and allow four runs on five hits while striking out seven.
Matt Zamudio tied the game with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the second inning. The Trojans pulled ahead in the fourth when Grizzlies starter Jake Hammer lost his command and loaded the bases before issuing runs on a walk and a hit batter. With the bases still loaded, Noah Befus drove in a third run with an infield single off reliever Jacob Lombardelli.
Trojans senior Dagin Renck singled home Michael Cox with one out in the fifth. The Grizzlies got two runs back in the sixth and Hassler helped himself out by driving in a run to give the Trojans a 7-4 lead to enter the seventh.
Even with the reliable lefty Renck on to close out the seventh, the Grizzlies rallied for six runs and got the Trojans out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to sweep the Northern League series.
"They have some athletes over there and if you make a mistake, they'll jump on you," Hassler said. "Things were going our way, we had the confidence and we had trust in one another. When something like that happens, it's just a shocker to everyone."
Northridge had eight hits, two of which were infield singles against Hassler, but most of their runs resulted from the Trojans pitchers walking seven batters and hitting two others. Six of the Grizzlies' 10 baserunners who scored reached base via the base on balls or hit by pitch.
The Trojans will host cross-town rival and Northern League contender Silver Creek (7-4, 5-1 Northern) on Thursday. The Raptors are ranked seventh in the state.
Northridge 10, Longmont 7
At Longmont H.S.
Northridge 200 002 6 — 10 8 1
Longmont 020 311 0 — 7 6 1
W — Lombardelli. L — Renck.
Northridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Werner 4-1-1-2, Vasquez 4-1-0-0, Aguilar 4-2-2-0, Eben 2-1-1-1, Morfin 3-0-0-1, Lombardelli 2-0-0-0, Miranda 3-1-2-3, Frye 4-0-2-1, Arellano 1-0-0-0, Heindselman 1-1-0-0, Decker 0-1-0-0, Crespin 0-2-0-0. Totals 28-10-8-8. 2B —Miranda, Werner. SB — Aguilar.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Zamudio 2-0-1-3, B. Renck 4-1-1-0, Befus 3-0-1-1, Hassler 4-0-0-1, Peterson 3-0-0-0, Carson 2-1-0-0, D. Renck 3-1-1-1, Gumeson 3-2-2-0, Deeter 1-0-0-1, Cox 0-1-0-0, Rodriguez 0-1-0-0. Totals 25-7-6-7. 2B — B. Renck. SB — Zamudio.
Northridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hammer 3.1-2-5-5-5-3, Lombardelli 3.2-4-2-2-2-5.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hassler 6-5-4-4-2-7, D. Renck 0.2-3-6-6-4-1, Befus 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.