BROOMFIELD — Colton Clingman spearheaded what technically was a walk-off victory, yet realistically it was a run-off.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the senior ripped a run-scoring single to tie the game, then won it by taking three extra bases himself. Clingman advanced to second base on the throw home following his single before stealing an uncovered third base, and delightfully trotted home when the throw to the bag came with no Berthoud player covering.
Final score: Holy Family 8, Berthoud 7 on another one of Colorado's glorious, early spring Thursday afternoons and early evenings. It pushed Holy Family to 7-2 overall, 4-1 in the Tri-Valley League and a soft toss behind leader Windsor. Berthoud is 6-4, 2-3.
Clingman came to his last at-bat with a plan, same thing for when he reached base.
After senior Cameron Miller led off with an infield single, he got to second on a wild pitch off Spartans reliever and loser Joshua Archer. Then, Clingman said, "I knew I wanted to get something to the outfield, try and get him in and have extras (innings)."
But it turned better. Clingman's single and taking the extra bag on the throw home changed everything.
"I saw the third baseman charging home (when Weston Siefken showed bunt) and I knew if I got a good jump their third baseman wouldn't be there," Clingman said.
And he wasn't — so the throw to the bag sailed harmlessly down the left-field line and the Tigers earned a rousing victory.
"We're finding ways to win," Tigers coach Marc Cowell said. "These games will make you better down the line."
It was kind of hard to figure - Holy Family did a bunch of good things, but also surrendered the lead three times and committed five errors. Fighting and squandering.
"I think it was a combination of both," said Cowell, back after a hiatus to retake command of the program. "There were plays we should have made, plays (the Spartans) should have made, then both teams came up with clutch hits."
True. Holy Family jumped to a first-inning lead on a walk to Wayne Rode, singles by Zach Becker and Phillip Neill, a sacrifice fly by Clingman and a double by Will Brassil. But Berthoud tied it in the third with its own three-spot.
The Tigers made it 5-3 in their half of the third, only to have Berthoud tie it again in the top of the fourth. Rode's solo home run, his third of the season, to center field produced another run only to have Berthoud tie it in the fifth, then take the lead in the top of the seventh.
Clingman eventually settled the matter and he may have to do it again — he's scheduled to pitch at Berthoud on Saturday morning. Having also made two sharp plays at first base, Clingman said he has drawn interest from a couple of community colleges in Arizona and has a spot on the club team at Grand Canyon so far.
Next week will be light for the Tigers as they observe Easter season, then home-and-aways with Roosevelt and Mead the following week.
HOLY FAMILY 8, BERTHOUD 7
Berthoud 013 210 1 - 7 7 2
Holy Family 302 100 2 - 8 8 5
W — Holy Family Becker. L — Rode.
Berthoud hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — DeVore cf 3-2-2-0, Sontag ss-3b 2-1-0-0, Archer 3b-p 4-0-0-1, Balliet 1b 3-0-1-2, DeSousa p-3b 4-1-1-1, Klein cr 0-0-0-0, Schumacher dh 4-0-1-0, Hardy rf 0-1-0-0, Fowler c 4-0-0-0, Lozinski cr 0-0-0-0, Yuska lf 4-1-2-0, Stratmeyer 2b 3-1-0-0. Totals 31-7-7-4.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rode c 2-2-1-1, McGarey cr 0-0-0-0, Becker ss-p 2-2-1-1, Neill cf 4-1-1-0, Miller rf 3-2-1-0, Clingman 1b 3-1-2-2, Brassil p 3-0-1-1, Sasser cr 0-0-0-0, Closen 3b 3-0-1-0, Coufal dh 3-0-0-0, Martinek lf 0-0-0-0, Elliott 2b-ss 3-0-0-0, Siefken 2b 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-8-8-5..