BROOMFIELD — Legacy senior Ross Smith's power surge has often come at the expense of his batting average this season, but his Lightning teammates were grateful when his home run swing connected on Saturday.
After crosstown Front Range League rival Broomfield went up with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning, Smith hit a two-run blast to straightaway left field that capped a four-run bottom of the inning and proved to be the deciding blow in a 6-2 win for the Lightning. For Smith, who is batting .245 but leads the Lightning with 20 RBIs, it was his fourth home run of the season.
"We've been in that position a lot this year, actually," Smith said. "We kind of start off slow but we don't get nervous. We just stayed in it and found a way to catch up. We had (Ryan) Overboe on the bump and whenever you've got him out there, you know it's going to be a pretty good game and he's going to keep them down to just a few runs. Our bats just did the rest of the work from there."
The Lightning (13-4, 7-3 Front Range) scored all four of their third-inning runs with two outs, ignited by a two-run double from Overboe that scored Joshua Kelnhofer and Tyler Lyons and finished off by Smith's shot. It was an emphatic response to the Eagles (9-7, 6-5 Front Range) firing the first salvo with a two-run double from Tanner Garner that scored Hayden Van De Pol and Mitch Morales in the top of the frame.
On the mound, Overboe responded admirably to the early blemish by allowing just three singles in the final four innings to finish out the complete game while the Lightning scored two insurance runs in fourth. He is now 3-2 with a 2.62 ERA on the season.
"You're always going to face adversity in a game and you're never going to throw a perfect pitch on every pitch," Legacy head coach Ty Giordano said. "He did a nice job of recouping and re-battling. Offensively, he kind of helped himself out because right after they put the two up, he comes up and gets the double that scores the two runs and tied it back up again."
Giordano said Saturday's win will hopefully snap the Lightning out of a weeklong period of disappointing play that had seen the team lose three of its last four games. Before that, the Lightning had won 11 straight. Giordano also said that in what now truly feels to the coaches like a rivalry series after several years of consistently facing one another, the Legacy players were happy to tie the series with the Eagles at two wins apiece since Broomfield joined the Front Range League four years ago.
His team also coming off a rough previous week with back-to-back losses to Fort Collins and Monarch, Broomfield head coach Garren Estes said Saturday's game was a step in the right direction despite the loss.
"Today, we came out really well," Estes said. "We came out swinging, we came out aggressive and overall I was pretty happy with the way we played. We just missed one or two pitches and they had a big inning. That's what this league is turning out to be. You have to play sound all the way through to win."
The Lightning, which has two regular-season games remaining, will play Loveland (10-7, 6-4 Front Range) on Tuesday. The Eagles have three home games to finish out the regular season and will begin that stretch with a non-conference game against Columbine (9-6) on Wednesday.
Legacy 6, Broomfield 2
At Legacy H.S.
Broomfield 002 000 0 — 2 7 0
Legacy 004 200 0 — 6 7 0
W — Overboe. L — Lawnhurst.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Boh 4-0-1-0, Van De Pol 2-1-0-0, Morales 3-1-2-0, Garner 3-0-1-2, Macosko 3-0-0-0, Harris 3-0-1-0, Conover 3-0-1-0, Sena 3-0-0-0, Eiguren 3-0-1-0, De Vera 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-2-7-2. 2B — Garner, Morales.
Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kelnhofer 2-1-0-0, Lyons 3-1-2-0, Overboe 3-0-2-2, Smith 3-1-1-2, Labuda 3-0-0-0, O'Brien 3-1-1-0, Wilmer 2-0-0-0, Grierson 1-0-0-0, Sehr 2-1-1-1, Esplin 1-0-0-0, Kimura 0-1-0-0. Totals 23-6-7-5. 2B — Overboe, Sehr, O'Brien. HR — Smith (1 on in 3rd). SB — Sehr.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Lawnhurst 3-4-4-4-1-0, Boh 1-2-2-2-1-0, May 2-1-0-0-0-1.
Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Overboe 7-7-2-2-1-10.