LAKEWOOD — A little bit of adversity wasn't anything new to the Longmont baseball team this season.
In fact, the Trojans had to pull out a pair of unlikely victories in regionals just to qualify for the 4A state tournament.
So when they found themselves trailing Holy Family by seven runs going into the bottom half of the fifth inning in an elimination game Wednesday, the Trojans went to work.
A leadoff single by Avery Peterson was all the spark they needed, as Longmont clawed its way to the game's next six runs, and had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh before eventually falling to the Tigers 7-6 at All-Star Park.
"That's something we've done all year," junior second baseman Brady Renck said. "We've had our backs against the wall all year. We just came up a little bit short this time."
Renck, who made a pair of spectacular defensive plays at second earlier in the game, actually awoke Longmont's offense from its slumber one inning earlier. Holy Family pitcher Weston Siefken had been rolling through the lineup, tossing a perfect game through the first 3 and a third innings of work.
Renck laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line and then used his speed to beat out the throw to first to give the Trojans their first baserunner of the day.
While Holy Family wasn't very happy with the bunt, it was the play Longmont needed to put a chink in Siefken's armor.
"We had to get baserunners," Renck said. "(Siefken) was killing us the first three innings. We had to get runners on and see what we he could do with runners on."
Longmont would get two runs back in the fifth, and then Renck's leadoff single led to a three run sixth inning.
With the lead cut to 7-5 to enter the bottom of the seventh, Renck again led off the frame, this time with a double to left. He moved to third on Noah Befus's single to right, and then scored on Austin Hassler's fielders choice.
Peterson was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with one out as Longmont had all the momentum.
But just like that the game ended. Alec Thompson lined a shot down the first base line that Siefken, now playing first after having been relieved to start the inning, snagged out of the air. Siefken was able to dive and tag the bag before Peterson could get back to complete the game-ending double-play.
"One of our main things is we just have to get runners on base and create havoc on the basepaths and score runs," Renck said. "We were able to do it in the last three innings and we all scored runs. We just got off to a slow start."
Although the loss ended Longmont's season, it also wrapped up a pretty remarkable school year for the Trojan boys athletes. Longmont reached the state semifinals in football in the fall, won the 4A state basketball championship in the winter and reached the state baseball tournament in the spring.
"There was a lot of athletes in the senior class and the junior class," said Renck, a junior who was also on the basketball team. "It was just a good year all around."
John Rosa: 303-473-1315, email@example.com
Holy Family 7, Longmont 6
At All-Star Park
Holy Family030 220 0 — 7 10 1
Longmont000 023 1 — 6 7 1
W — Holy Family: Siefken. L — Nowells.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Becker 4-1-1-0, Closen 4-0-1-1, Kringlen 3-0-0-0, Brassil 4-1-1-0, Neill 4-2-4-0, Baker 4-1-1-0, McGowan 3-0-0-0, Callaway 2-1-0-1, Martinek 2-1-2-3, Delgado 1-0-0-0, Siefken 1-0-0-0. SB —Neill.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Zamudio 4-0-0-0, Renck 4-2-3-0, Befus 4-1-2-0, Hassler 4-1-0-2, Peterson 3-0-2-1, Thompson 4-0-0-0, Carson 2-1-0-0, Deeter 2-0-0-0, Rulon 2-0-0-1, Rodriguez 0-1-0-0. 2B — Renck.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Siefken 6-5-5-3-3-6, Baker .1-2-1-1-0-0, Kringlen .2-0-0-0-0-0.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nowells 4-7-5-4-2-5, Befus 3-3-2-2-1-4.