BROOMFIELD — With the Northern League baseball title already wrapped up, Broomfield should have been cruising down easy street Thursday. Instead, the third-ranked team was fighting for its life.
The Eagles squeaked out 7-6 victory over Silver Creek to protect its perfect run through conference play.
Late missteps on defense almost cost Broomfield dearly, with a pair of errors in the seventh fueling the Raptors’ rally.
While Garren Estes’ team survived the scare, the Eagles coach was wiping his brow after the game.
“It was a long, slow paced game, which gave them the belief they could come back,” Estes said. “We didn’t have our best game. It was a wake-up call that even when you’re up you have to finish the game.”
Garrett Howard drew Silver Creek within a run, scoring off a sacrifice fly in the second-to-last out of the inning. But it was Broomfield’s defensive missteps just before the designated hitter scored that got the Raptors rolling.
First, Raptors’ third baseman Joey Stauss crossed home off a throwing error that went all the way to the Silver Creek dugout. Then first baseman Wyatt Knechtel came home off a fielding error at the next at bat.
“Guess it shows what can happen when you put the ball in play,” Howard said.
Trevor Platt believed his team blew the chance to be in a better position in the seventh with some earlier plays. The coach’s specific gripe was his Raptors leaving four men in scoring position in the first five innings.
Even with the missed opportunities, the skipper believed his team was in great position at the end of the game.
“I was hoping that we could roll though the lineup and get to our best hitter, (leadoff) Greg Reyolds,” Platt said. “I believe he’s the best hitter in the league. The kid has hit around .600 against league opponents and .500 overall.”
The Eagles bats were quite after the second, with the team only coming up with three hits after the inning. Reliever K.C. Lord slowed down Broomfield’s bats, with the Silver Creek pitcher striking out seven batters.
But to start, Broomfield was brutal on offense.
The team battered the Raptors with seven runs off seven hits in the opening two innings. The team sent four of those runs home off two of its three doubles.
Ben Martinez got the big hits rolling, scoring two of the final three runs in the first off a ground-rule double that went bouncing over the left-field wall. Then Dylan Gable followed suit an inning later with a two-run double to the fence line.
“We were just able to take advantage of his pitches and drive them,” Gable said.
Brandon Bailey protected the Eagles’ lead for four innings, with the right-hander striking out eight batters. And while Albert Garcia took his lumps late, he helped Broomfield finish with 12 punch outs.
“It was a rocky game,” Estes said. “But the bottom line is we got the win.”
Broomfield 7, Silver Creek 6
At Broomfield H.S.
Silver Creek (8-5, 9-8-1) 010 020 3 — 6 9 0
Broomfield (13-0, 14-4) 430 000 x — 7 10 2
W — Bailey (8-0). L — Templeton (1-1)
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Reyolds 4-0-0-0, Fleming 2-1-1-0, Stauss 4-0-3-1, Deckert 0-2-0-0, Knechtel 3-1-0-0, Au. Apodaca 4-1-1-0, Howard 4-1-3-1, Wenande 3-0-0-0, Seidem 1-0-0-0, An. Apodaca 4-0-0-1, Grine 3-0-1-0. Totals 31-6-9-3. 2B — Howard 2, Stauss. 3B — None. HR — None. SB — None.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Oliver 3-1-1-0, Bailey 2-2-1-0, Garcia 0-0-0-0, Lockwood 3-2-2-1, Perez 4-0-0-0, Martinez 3-0-2-2, Lalancette 1-1-0-0, Gable 2-1-1-2, Rouco 3-0-1-1, McCulley 2-0-1-0, Estes 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-7-10-6. 2B — Baiely, Martinez, Gable. 3B — None. HR — None. SB — Oliver.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Templeton 1-5-4-6-3-0; Lord 7-5-3-1-0-7.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bailey 4-6-1-1-1-8; Garcia 3-3-5-2-0-2.