Baseball: Leroux’s slam lifts Longmont to bounce-back win

LONGMONT — Longmont’s sophomore designated hitter Kyler Leroux did just what his position title implies on Thursday.

Leroux went 2-for-3, including a fifth-inning grand slam, to lead the Trojans to a 10-5 win over Mountain View at home.

“We were just kind of struggling in the beginning, so I just felt like I could maybe break it open a little,” Leroux said. “I just swung as hard as I could. He threw me a fastball right down the middle and I got all of that one.”

Leroux’s grand slam capped off a fifth inning that broke the game open for the Trojans, who scored six runs on four hits in the inning.

“It starts getting contagious,” Leroux said. “Once everybody starts hitting, you can’t stop us.”

For the Trojans (11-3, 8-1), ranked sixth in Class 4A, Thursday’s win was a big rebound after losing 8-1 to then-winless Centaurus on Saturday.

“It’s good to get some crooked numbers up there again. We haven’t done that as much lately. Better pitching, better teams,” Trojans head coach Tom Fobes said. “This was really big, because nobody saw that (loss to Centaurus) coming. That’s the game of baseball. There are games when you don’t put the bat on the ball and you don’t score runs.”

Trojans starting pitcher Reilly Mau was a bit off, walking five batters over 4 1/3 innings, but he pitched out of trouble and allowed just three runs. Sophomore reliever Brett Sterkel, who has a 3.29 earned run average over 13 2/3 innings of relief this season, took over with a one-run lead and one out in the fifth.

Sterkel allowed just a two-run home run in the seventh inning.

“I always like coming in in those situations,” Sterkel said. “It makes me better. It makes me work harder.”

The Trojans gave Sterkel some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth.

“I like that as a pitcher when our batters start hitting,” Sterkel said. “A lot of stress comes off of me, but I still need to be focused.”

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Longmont 10, Mountain View 5

At Longmont H.S.

Mountain View (6-9, 6-5) 010 020 2 — 5 10 2

Longmont (11-3, 8-1) 000 460 0 — 10 10 0

W — Mau (5-0). L — Baumann (2-4)

Mountain View hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) Evans 4-0-0-0, Baumann 3-1-1-0, Porterfield 4-0-1-0, Swetz 0-1-0-0, Stark 3-1-1-0, Starck 4-1-2-4, Christensen 2-1-1-0, Clinton 0-0-0-0, McDaniel 4-0-1-0, Moree 3-0-2-0, Dennis 3-0-1-0. Totals 29-5-10-4. 2B — Starck. HR — Starck (1 on in 7th). SB — Baumann, Christensen.

Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Yee 4-1-1-0, Magee 3-2-2-0, Crist 4-2-2-1, Moroyoqui 3-0-1-0, Green 0-1-0-0, Mau 1-0-0-1, Martien 0-1-0-0, Bladt 3-2-2-1, Leroux 3-1-2-4, Zamudio 0-0-0-0, Amen 2-0-1-1, Chacon 2-0-0-0, Sterkel 1-0-0-0. Totals 26-10-10-8. 2B — Amen, Magee, Crist. HR — Leroux (grand slam in 5th).

Mountain View pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Baumann 5-10-6-6-1-2, Swetz 1-0-0-0-0-1.

Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Mau 4.1-6-3-3-5-3, Sterkel 2.2-4-2-2-0-3.