DENVER — Blake Rohm and the Broomfield baseball team deserved better.
But even after watching Rocky Mountain celebrate on the infield of All-City Field with the Class 5A state championship trophy Sunday afternoon, Rohm and the Eagles weren't about to offer any excuses.
The Lobos captured the title, their sixth in the past 11 seasons, after knocking off Broomfield 9-5 in a championship game that started on Saturday, was postponed in the top of the first inning due to a driving rainstorm, and then resumed at noon on Sunday.
And while the two teams only played one-third of an inning on Saturday, that action was huge in deciding Sunday's outcome. Rohm, a tall right-hander, took the mound for the Eagles in a steady rain, and the weather had an immediate impact.
Rohm had trouble gripping the slick ball and his battery-mate Mason Speirs had trouble receiving it, leading to a couple wild pitches and passed balls. Officials quickly suspended play, but not until after Rocky Mountain had taken a 2-0 lead.
When play resumed on Sunday, with one on and one out, the Lobos tacked on another run on Spencer Gendreau's leadoff double to center. But that was all they could get off of Rohm, who was tremendous over the next five innings of scoreless ball, scattering three hits while keeping Broomfield within striking distance.
"To be honest, we kind of just brushed it off," Rohm said about the restart. "Our mentality all year has been we're just a family. We know that If I don't go out and have my best stuff right away, these guys will pick me up."
As good as Rohm was, Rocky Mountain starter John Sorensen was his equal through six innings. Sorensen, who didn't have to make a single pitch in any kind of weather, didn't give up a hit until there was one out in the fourth, and consistently enticed ground-ball outs when he wasn't getting a strikeout
Through six innings of play, Sorensen only allowed two hits while striking out six and the Lobos took a 3-0 lead into the seventh.
Saturday's rain-shortened action also came into play to start the seventh inning, however, as Rohm had to take a seat after bumping into pitch count issues after the sixth. Rohm threw 24 pitches in the weather on Saturday, and eventually finished the first inning with 36 pitches thrown.
By the time the seventh inning started Rohm had 109 pitches and was done for the day.
Rocky Mountain erupted for six runs in the seventh off of a couple of relievers, building a 9-0 cushion before Broomfield took it's final at-bats.
But the Eagles did not go quietly. Tanner Garner opened the home half of the frame with a single to left, quickly followed by Matt Turner's shot to right. Speirs walked to load the bases, before Mitch Morales cleared them with a hard-hit double to left center.
"We all knew this was the last chance for our seniors, so we just fought to the end," Morales said.
Morales scored on Ben Peterson's single to right center, and he would eventually score on Josh Cox's one-out sac fly to center, cutting the deficit to 9-5. But Sorensen, who went the entire way, was able to get a final strikeout to end the game and secure another title for the Lobos.
And while the ending was bittersweet, Rohm was able to quickly put things in perspective and relish what his teammates were able to accomplish this season.
"Life's about what you wish you could take back and things you want to do differently," said Rohm, who will play college ball for Virginia. "There's probably things we wish we could do different, but in the end, this is baseball. That's the beauty of the game. You never know what you're going to get."
Broomfield played the game without head coach Garren Estes in the dugout. Estes, who has been with the program for 14 seasons, flew to San Diego on Saturday night to attend his son's graduation on Sunday.
"He had some really great words for us this morning," Rohm said. "He sent us a text, to all the team and we read it out loud. We just kind of all felt his presence here.
"That's the thing about family. Even if they're not there you still feel them. And in many ways he was just carried with us on the field."
John Rosa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky Mountain 9, Broomfield 5
At All-City Field
Rocky Mountain300 000 6 — 9 9 0
Broomfield000 000 5 — 5 7 2
W — Rocky MountainJohn Sorensen. L — Blake Rohm.
Rocky Mountain hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — yland 3-2-2-0, Hammer 5-0-1-1, Sorensen 4-1-1-1, Heinze 0-1-0-0, Uhruch 3-2-2-1, Gendreau 3-1-1-1, Wagner 33-1-0-1, Medrano 3-1-1-2, Nelson 1-0-0-0, Morris 2-0-1-0, Mata-Lloyd 3-0-0-0, Maciel 1-0-0-0. Totals 31-9-9-7. 2B —Uhruch 2, Medrano, Gendreau. SB —Sorensen.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cox 4-0-0-1, Van De Pol 4-0-1-0, Garner 3-1-1-0, Turner 3-1-1-0, Speirs 2-0-0-0, Overman 0-1-0-0, Morales 3-1-1-3, Peterson 3-1-1-1, Notary 3-0-1-0, Macosko 3-0-1-0. Totals 28-5-7-5. 2B — Morales. SB —Macosko.
Rocky Mountain pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sorensen 7-7-5-5-1-8.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Rohm 6-5-3-3-2-3, Deinhardt 0.1-2-5-5-3-0, Martinez 0.2-2-1-1-1-1.