DENVER — The waters got a bit choppy for the Broomfield baseball team, but the Eagles are still very much alive after the first day of the Class 5A double-elimination state tournament.
Playing at the pristine Regency Athletic Complex in downtown Denver, the Eagles were exceptional in the field, came up with a lot of hits in their two games and got the pitching they certainly expected out of James Notary, Blake Rohm and closer Jerin Deignhart.
Absolutely everything came together for BHS in a 5-2 opening win against Legend, but one big inning from Mountain Vista in the Eagles' second game of the day proved too big to rally from as the Golden Eagles took a 6-4 win and clinched a spot in the final four next weekend.
Broomfield (17-6 overall) advances to its lone Monday game at 1-1 and will face the winner between Legacy and Rock Canyon for a chance to get to next weekend's play at All-City Stadium.
"When you get to this time of year, it's who is going to capitalize on the little mistakes or who gets something out of those, and (Mountain Vista) did," said Broomfield head coach Garren Estes, whose squad produced more hits in the loss than in their win but could not get timely base knocks until it was too late. "Every team that's left is a good team. You have to limit those mistakes as much as you can. Blake pitched well, and we got the hits but we just couldn't scratch across the runs.
"It's going to come down to No. 3's (on the pitching staff). We just have to come back."
In an ace-vs.-ace opening game against Legend and Brody McCord, Notary was, well, nearly flawless after the first inning. Once Mason Speirs' two-run home run in the bottom of the first helped provide Broomfield with a 3-2 lead, Notary went the next five innings allowing just two hits. He struck out 11 overall, including the first batter of the seventh inning before he reached his pitch limit.
His biggest threat on the Titans side may have been Jordan Stubbings, who hit nine home runs this season. But Notary got him on strikes three times, including a big one in the fifth inning as he represented the tying run.
Deignhart recorded the save by getting a ground ball and a strikeout.
"I had a rough first inning but the guys picked me up with the bats to get the lead right back, and I just kind of rode that," Notary said.
The Eagles played with just as much confidence as Rohm took the hill in the winner's bracket game, and Rohm got in a rhythm to produce seven ground ball outs and four strikeouts through four innings. But with the help of three double plays turned by Mountain Vista in the first three innings and a fourth inning where Broomfield ran into a third out, Grant Magill's two-run blast off Rohm in the fourth gave MVHS a lead they would never surrender.
The Golden Eagles, in fact, added four runs in a big sixth inning to take a 6-1 lead before Broomfield got going. Sean McCulley and Hayden Van De Pol — the latter who had hit into two of BHS' four double plays — produced run-scoring hits to get the tying run to the plate.
It's an inning in a loss that the Eagles hope they can use for fuel Monday.
"We're hurting after that loss, but that seventh-inning comeback really showed the kind of fight we have in us," Notary said. "We come back (Monday) just like we did in that seventh, we won't be beat."
"That seventh inning was good for our guys and just showed if they were going to go down, they were going down swinging," Estes added.
Broomfield will play again Monday at the RAC at 12:30 p.m., and Mitch Morales will likely get the start. Ben Peterson is another pitcher available to try and scratch out that second win.
"I believe in our guys. I know our three and four guys are as good as it gets," Speirs said.
Broomfield 5, Legend 2
At Regency Athletic Complex
Legend200 000 0 — 2 4 3
Broomfield301 010 x — 5 7 1
W — Notary. L — McCord. S — Deignhart.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cox 4-2-2-0, Van De Pol 2-1-1-1, Garner 1-0-0-0, Turner 3-1-1-0, Speirs 3-1-1-2, Morales 3-0-0-0, Peterson 3-0-2-0, Notary 2-0-0-0, Overman 1-0-0-0, McCulley 1-0-0-0. 2B — Cox, Peterson. 3B — Turner. HR — Speirs.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Notary 6.1-4-2-2-2-11, Deignhart 0.2-0-0-0-0-1.
Mountain Vista 6, Broomfield 4
Broomfield000 010 3 — 4 12 0
Mountain Vista000 204 x — 6 6 3
W — Liffrig. L — Rohm.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cox 4-0-1-0, Van De Pol 4-0-1-2, Garner 4-0-1-0, Turner 4-0-0-0, Speirs 3-0-2-0, Morales 3-0-2-0, Peterson 3-1-2-0, Notary 2-2-1-0, McCulley 3-1-2-1. 2B — McCulley. SB —Cox.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Rohm 6-6-6-6-1-6.