DENVER — In a season defined by Broomfield baseball’s dominance, a different factor came into play Saturday at All-City Field — resiliency.
The second-seeded Eagles had shown plenty of it by the time they bum rushed Angelo Perez after the shortstop recorded the last out of the Class 4A championship game. Broomfield turned the screws on Air Academy in the crucial second game of the day, but earning its 12-4 win required the Eagles to shake off early trouble.
Broomfield entered the day the undefeated team of the double-elimination tournament, with the opportunity to clinch the title in one game. Despite it taking two turns at the Kadets to earn the hardware, the feeling was nonetheless sweet.
“This is what we’ve been working for all year,” said Broomfield’s Brandon Bailey, the winning pitcher of the second game. “It could have gone a little smoother, but it is still amazing. This is the greatest feeling ever.”
Knocking off Air Academy earned Broomfield its fifth state championship and the second under coach Garren Estes. And in some respects the coach planted the seeds for this year’s run the last time he led the Eagles to the top in 2006.
A majority of Estes’ present high school players were on the coach’s summer Little League squad during Broomfield’s last title run. As part of the Little League pre-season prep that year the coach brought the state trophy to their practice and gave them a pep-talk about aiming high in baseball.
Apparently the chat and visual aid stuck with the players.
“I just told them, no matter what high school they went to this is what they wanted to go for,” Estes said. “This trophy is what you want to shoot for.”
Broomfield made the most of the double-elimination tournament in the 10th-anniversary of the format.
The Eagles bounced back from an opening 3-2 loss to Air Academy to really lay in on their opponents. This was especially true when Broomfield was up to bat.
The Eagles finished the game with 14 hits, 12 for extra bases, 11 of those doubles. The team’s most damaging inning came early, with the Eagles taking a commanding 6-0 lead with five runs off five hits in the third.
The Eagles had the sweet spot the moment they stepped up to bat, with left fielder Hayden Estes leading off with the first of his team’s five doubles in the inning. In all Broomfield tore through a total of six Air Academy pitchers.
“Honestly, I wasn’t surprised with the way we hit,” said Estes, one of four players to finish the game with extra extra-base hits. “We’ve been a solid hitting team all season and we were fired up with the way we showed in the opening game.”
The Eagles had a rocky outing Saturday morning in all facets. The team only had four hits and left eight men stranded in the game. RBI’s by pinch hitter Ryan McCulley and Estes in the seventh, though, gave the team a glimmer of hope. The pitching was even a bit rougher. While Jackson Lockwood came back in the second game to hit 3 for 4 with three doubles, he struggled on the mound early in the opening game. The senior struck out 10 batters, but he also gave up 8 hits and three earned runs.
Despite the troubles, the loss worked in Broomfield’s favor, Garren Estes believed.
“Sometimes it’s good to get a little slap in the face,” the coach said. “We came back and said, ‘That team was not Broomfield.'”
While the hits stung, Lockwood’s experience was far from anomalous for the day. The Kadets also gave Bailey a fair amount of trouble in the second game. The hard-throwing junior gave up four runs on nine hits. He also gave the Kadets’ lineup plenty of props.
“I compare them to Longmont; those were the best two hitting teams we faced,” said Bailey, who finished a perfect 10-0 on the season. “That’s why they’re here. They didn’t make it here by chance. They’re a really good team.”
AIR ACADEMY 3, BROOMFIELD 2
At All-City Field
Air Academy (23-3) 030 000 0 — 3 8 0
Broomfield (21-5) 000 002 0 — 2 4 0
W — Megyeri (8-1). L — Lockwood (10-2)
Air Academy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Butler 3-0-2-2, Goldberg 4-0-1-0, Wilborn 0-0-0-0, Yeager 4-0-0-0, Megery 2-0-1-0, Barlett 0-1-0-0, Ensor 1-0-0-0, Shatraw 3-0-0-0, Kimbow 3-1-2-1, Hockmuth 3-1-1-0, Ryan 3-0-1-0, Giordano 2-1-0-0. Totals 27-3-8-3. 2B — None. 3B — None. HR — None. SB — None.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Oliver 4-0-0-0, Bailey 4-0-1-0, Lockwood 3-0-1-0, McCulley 1-0-1-1, Perez 4-0-0-0, Martinez 3-0-0-0, Gable 0-1-0-0, Arensdorf 1-1-1-0, Garcia 2-0-0-0, Estes 3-0-0-1. Totals 25-2-4-2. 2B — Bailey, McCulley. 3B — None. HR — None. SB — none.
Air Academy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Megery 7-4-2-2-4-5.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Lockwood 7-8-3-3-1-10.
BROOMFIELD 12, AIR ACADEMY 4
At All-City Field
Broomfield (22-5) 105 200 4 — 12 14 1
Air Academy (23-4) 002 200 0 — 4 9 1
W — Bailey (10-0). L — Shatraw (2-2)
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Oliver 4-1-1-1, Bailey 3-0-0-0, Sena 0-1-0-0, Lockwood 4-2-3-1, Perez 4-2-2-3, Martinez 4-2-2-3, Gable 3-0-1-1, Arensdorf 3-1-1-0, McCulley 4-1-2-1, Estes 3-2-2-1. Totals 32-12-14-11. 2B — Lockwood 3, Perez 2, Martinez, Gable, Arensdorf, McCulley, Estes 2. 3B — None. HR — Martinez (two runs in 7th). SB — McCulley.
Air Academy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Butler 3-1-1-0, Goldberg 4-0-0-0, Yeager 4-1-2-1, Price 3-0-1-1, Shatram 4-0-0-0, Brow 2-0-2-1, Hochmuth 3-0-1-0, Ryan 1-1-1-0, Giordano 2-1-1-0, Megyeri 1-0-0-0. Totals 25-4-9-3 2B — None. 3B — None. HR — None. SB — None.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bailey 7-9-4-2-3-5.
Air Academy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Shatram 2 1/3-5-6-6-2-0, Ensor 1 1/3-0-0-0-0-0, Gelb 1 1/3-0-0-0-1-2, Dape 0-3-3-3-0-0, Brow 1-2-1-1-1-0.