BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield Eagles have leaned heavily on their pitching this season, and rightfully so.
The strong right arm of TCU-bound senior James Notary has been instrumental in a number of key wins — notably the near perfect game against previously unbeaten Mountain Range — and on Monday, the Eagles turned to their stud in a big spot against Legacy.
It wasn't his best, but it was good enough against a Legacy squad that had just as much at stake. Broomfield's three pitchers, including Notary, combined to walk 10; but somehow overcame it with timely hitting, some nifty double plays and a few fortuitous calls in an 8-5 victory.
"James has come out and just been nails his last three outings, and has three one-hitters; and I told the guys we can't expect our pitchers to come out an dominate every game," said Broomfield coach Garren Estes, whose team improved to 13-4 overall and 9-1 in the Front Range League.
"They need to know that they can have an off day and we can scratch out some runs for you."
The win for Broomfield allows them to keep pace with Rocky Mountain atop the FRL after the Lobos dispatched of Mountain Range on Monday. Both teams have two league games left, but Rocky has the tiebreaker by virtue of its 5-4 last month in Fort Collins.
Notary, who improved to 5-0 this season, dealt with a lot of traffic in each of the 4-plus innings he pitched, but was able to get out of it every time by rallying to make the necessary pitches.
Legacy, down 4-0 heading to the fifth after Broomfield's Ben Peterson delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth, finally got to Notary in the fifth and ultimately chased him after the first four batters of the inning reached.
"(Legacy) wasn't going to quit and they kept battling, putting some runners in scoring position," Estes said, "But the defense came through."
Notary would give way to Peterson, who on the second pitch he threw was able to induce a big 6-4-3 double play from Ty McAninch — although a majority on the Lightning side questioned the call at first base.
A big two-out rally in the bottom of fifth, saw the Eagles score four times. A Mitchell Morales double to the left centerfield gap scored Mason Speirs and then Josh Cox had a two-run single that scored Notary and Tyler Conover.
"We have a lot of great teammates and before everybody goes up to bat we have guys like Sean McCulley and Jerin Deignhart — all the guys that maybe don't get as much playing time — that help us and the team moral more than anything," Cox said.
"One of the best part about playing in a crosstown rivalry is that its like being a little kid playing in the championship."
To Legacy's credit, they kept at it in the sixth. Even after Broomfield's Tanner Garner turned a spectacular double play, snaring Ross Smith's line drive and forcing out Bradon O'Connor at third, the Lightning's DJ Daugherty doubled to right to cut the lead to 8-5.
Legacy brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out in the seventh against Morales, but the sophomore struck out Josh Kelnhofer and then got O'Connor to pop up and John Coogan to ground out.
"We take great pride in competing on every pitch of every out of every game and we preach that all time and usually when you do that, good things happen and sometimes you don't catch the breaks," said Legacy coach Ty Giordano, whose No. 8 Lighting (No. 6 in the RPI) drop to 12-5 overall and 7-3 in the FRL. "That's a good team we played and we knew we were going to have to play our best to compete.
"We could have played better, and not taking anything away from Broomfield — they are one of the best in the state, but we battled."
Legacy will be right back at it on Tuesday against Loveland and then close out the season against Poudre on Thursday.
BROOMFIELD 8, LEGACY 5
Legacy (12-5, 7-3)000 023 0 — 5 8 4
Broomfield (13-4, 9-1)100 340 x — 8 8 1
W — James Notary (5-0). L — Josh Chamberlain (5-2).
Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Bradon O'Connor 5-0-1-0, John Coogan 1-2-0-0, Colby Deaville 3-2-2-1, Ross Smith 3-0-0-0, DJ Daugherty 4-0-2-3, Ty McAninch 4-0-0-1, Josh Chamberlain 0-0-0-0, Grant Hall 0-0-0-0, Ryan Overboe 2-0-1-0, Jake Coogan 4-0-1-0, Josh Kelnhofer 2-1-1-0. Totals 28-5-8-5. 2B — Daugherty. SB — John Coogan.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Josh Cox 4-0-2-2, Hayden VanDePol 3-1-0-0, Isaiah Overman 0-0-0-0, Tanner Garner 4-0-0-1, Matt Turner 4-1-1-0, Mason Speirs 2-2-0-0, Mitchell Morales 3-2-2-1, James Notary 2-1-0-0, Zach Macosko 0-0-0-0, Ben Peterson 3-0-2-2, Tyler Conover 0-1-0-0, Blake Rohm 2-0-1-1. 2B — Morales. SB — Cox.
Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Chamberlain 4.2-4-6-3-5-6, Hall 0-3-2-1-0-0, McAninch 1.1-1-0-0-0-0.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Notary 4+-4-2-2-6-7, Peterson 2-3-3-3-3-0, Morales 1-1-0-0-1-1.