BROOMFIELD — With the summer of 2015 winding to a close and shot at a Boulder National Invitational Tournament bracket play berth seemingly out of reach, the Longmont-Erie combo club team finished pool play in style.
On Saturday at Legacy High School, Longmont-Erie defeated Front Range Baseball Academy 10-4 to cap the round robin round with a victory. Even with an already decidedly victorious summer record of 28-9-1, Longmont/Erie shortstop Kavan Andrew insisted it was important for the club to end pool play on a high note.
"We were hot yesterday and we just came out and kept on playing well," Andrew said. "We had a few miscues but all-in-all it was pretty good. We just came in and played like we know we can, especially on defense."
Longmont-Erie went 3-1 in pool play, with its only loss a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Erie Roughnecks on Thursday. But with frequent changes to the tournament schedule and preventing some teams from completing all four pool play games, the tournament directors decided to shorten Sunday's bracket play to the top four teams based on each team's record in its best three games, head-to-head and runs allowed tiebreakers.
"We were technically 3-0 with six runs allowed," Longmont High head coach Tom Fobes said. "But there are teams that have given up no runs or two runs. It would have taken the Roughnecks losing by a ton and a few other teams doing the same thing for us to make it to Sunday."
Remarkably, it happened. And Longmont-Erie, alongside Mead, will be among the semifinalists Sunday morning.
FRBA took a 2-1 lead on a two-run home run from Horizon High School's Damion Ruybal in the bottom of the first inning. Longmont-Erie quickly responded in the top of the second inning with five runs on six hits.
Andrew and Jake Zamudio each drove in two runs while Avery Peterson went 3 for 3 at the plate and scored two runs. Mason Peterson went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two driven in.
"We've been doing Erie and Longmont together for years now so we all gel together pretty well," Andrew said. "This year we went down to Arizona and Kansas and we've played against some really good teams, and we've won a lot too. I was a good summer."
With summer football camp a week away, Longmont-Erie will lose nearly half of its team for the Connie Mack state tournament. Of the Longmont High players, many of whom played major roles in the school's appearance in the 2014 Class 4A final four, six of nine players will have to transition to football season.
Expecting to lose its football crossovers at the end of the summer, Longmont-Erie still plans to bring up younger players to compete in the Connie Mack tournament.
"It will be fun to play in the AABC with some younger guys," Fobes said. "That's probably what we're going to do."
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Longmont-Erie 10, FRBA 4
At Legacy HS
Longmont-Erie 151 210 — 10 14 0
FRBA 201 100 — 4 11 2
W — Begano. L — Salazar.
Longmont-Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rothe 4-2-2-1, Crites 4-0-2-1, M. Peterson 3-3-2-2, Andrew 3-1-1-2, Moroyoqui 4-0-1-0, A. Peterson 3-2-3-0, Zamudio 4-1-2-2, Sorenson 3-1-1-1, Rulon 3-0-0-0. Totals 31-10-14-9. 2B —M. Peterson 2, A. Peterson, Zamudio. SB —Rothe, Crites, M. Peterson, Moroyoqui, A. Peterson.
FRBA hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Daugherty 4-1-2-0, Hardman 4-0-1-0, Maynez 2-1-2-1, Ruybal 3-1-2-2, Overboe 2-0-0-0, Zaragoza 3-1-2-0, Pritchard 3-0-1-1, Chamberlain 3-0-0-0, Steen 3-0-1-0. Totals 27-4-11-4. 2B — Zaragoza. HR — Ruybal (one on in first).
Longmont-Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Begano 6-11-4-4-2-5.
FRBA pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Salazar 6-14-10-9-1-6.