DENVER - A day before the 5A state tournament Legacy coach Ty Giordano told his players it takes a winning streak to win the title.
It will take a longer streak than hoped if the eighth-seeded Lightning baseball team wants to grab the trophy.
Legacy had an early lead and some chances late to beat top-seeded Cherry Creek, but a pair of home runs and a squandered chance in the sixth inning helped the Bruins beat the Lighting 4-2 at All-City Stadium on Sunday morning.
Legacy now moves to the loser's bracket where it will play No. 5 Rock Canyon at 10 a.m. Monday morning at Metro State University. The Lightning will have to win six in a row in the next six days to be champions.
"It doesn't matter how you go on it, you have to go on a win streak," Giordano said. "Whether you go on five straight or six straight you've got to go on a win streak."
Legacy (16-6) hoped to get through Sunday unscathed and an early 2-0 lead gave it a chance. Ty McAninch reached on a one-out double in the second and scored on an error on Bradon O'Connor's grounder to second.
O'Connor came home later in the inning on another error to get the Lightning started.
Legacy starter Joshua Chamberlain worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning, giving up just one run. But he left up two curveballs to Cody Schultz and Andrew Chavez in the third, and both went deep to give the Bruins (17-5) a 3-2 lead.
"I had all three of my pitches working well but if you miss a spot or two against this Creek team they're going to make you pay for it," said Chamberlain, who allowed four runs on six hits and struck out five in six innings.
Cherry Creek added another run in the fourth, and Legacy loaded the bases with no outs on starter Same Colehower in the sixth. Jake Lawrence came on and struck out the next two batters and induced a pop out to end the threat.
"The base are loaded and you're ready to get that key hit, but he came in and did a nice job," Giordano said. "He ended up freezing us with two breaking pitches."
Now the Lightning face a tougher road.
"We've got more to play, got to come back (Monday) and win two to advance," Giordano said.
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Cherry Creek 4, Legacy 2
At All-City Stadium
Legacy020 000 0 — 2 2 0
Cherry Creek012 100 x — 4 6 2
W — Cherry Creek Sam Colehower. L — Joshua Chamberlain. S — Jake Lawrence.
Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — John Coogan 2-0-0-0, Deaville 2-0-0-0, Smith 2-0-0-0, Daugherty 3-0-0-0, McAninch 2-1-1-0, O'Connor 3-1-0-0, Overboe 3-0-0-0, Jake Coogan 3-0-0-0, Kelnhofer 3-0-1-0. Totals 23-2-2-0. 2B —McAninch.
Cherry Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Martinez 3-0-1-0, C. Schultz 2-1-1-2, O'Tremba 3-0-1-0, Chavez 3-1-1-1, T. Schultz 3-1-1-0, Malashock 2-0-0-0, Dorighi 2-1-1-0, Guckenberger 3-0-0-0, Kron 1-0-0-0. — T. Schultz. 3B —T. Schultz. HR — C. Schultz, Chavez.
Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Chamberlain 6-6-4-4-4-5.
Cherry Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Colehower 5-2-2-0-2-3. Lawrence 2-0-0-0-0-3.