BROOMFIELD — A quick glance at Centaurus baseball’s season, and it is easy to discern the Warriors can swing the bat. But David Shald showed Saturday that the team is far from just a hit-generating machine.
The Warriors came up with a 6-5 win in their second meeting with fourth-ranked Broomfield behind a solid start by the senior pitcher. While Broomfield rallied at the end, Shald had the hard-hitting defending state champions struggling for the better part of the game.
The Eagles got to Shald for three runs in the seventh inning before he was relieved with one out. But for the day he allowed just six hits and five runs over 61/3 innings.
“We had fire coming into today,” Shald said. “We wanted this one bad.”
What had Centaurus (5-2, 3-2) so amped about stepping on the field with the Eagles (5-4, 4-1) was its performance the last time the teams met. On Thursday, Broomfield took control of the Northern League standings in a game where nothing went right for the Warriors — particularly in the field.
Centaurus surrendered 12 hits and committed eight errors in the outing. But as painful as that 11-5 loss was, it was one from which coach Aaron Allen believes his team learned.
“We weren’t mentally ready Thursday after two weeks off, and they were ready to go,” Allen said. “We came in fired up today and played some pretty solid baseball.”
Shald delivered three hitless innings in his stay, allowing his team to heat up at bat. The Warriors then caught fire on offense in the fourth. They sent five runs home off six hits — two going for extra bases.
Tristen Archuleta got the scoring going in the inning with an RBI double the shortstop drove down the right-field line. Then outfielder Lance Matosky finished the inning with a two-run double he sent into deep right field.
“Everybody had the desire to hit the ball as hard as they could in the fourth,” said Matosky, who finished the afternoon with 3 RBIs. “I think they were very shocked with the inning.”
The loss was Broomfield’s first of Northern League play and did little to knock them out of the top spot of the conference standings. The Eagles are the only team in conference with one loss, while Centaurus is now in a three-way tie for second.
Broomfield nearly kept its undefeated status intact with a seventh-inning rally. The team sent three runs home in its final at bat, fueled by timely hits by catcher Ben Martinez and shortstop Angelo Perez. The third and fourth hitters in the lineup sent three runs home off back-to-back singles. After that, the Eagles offense dried up.
“We shot ourselves in the foot making errors early in the game,” Perez said. “When we picked it up, it was too late. There just wasn’t enough innings.”
Part of the Eagles’ problem was their approach at bat with a stiff wind blowing in from center field.
“We weren’t being very smart, swinging away,” Perez said. “We wanted to hit home runs, which wasn’t a good idea with the wind blowing the way it was.”
Even with Broomfield taking its first lump of conference play, the team is far from hitting the panic button.
“We’ll move on,” Broomfield coach Garren Estes said. “We still have a lot of top teams to go.”
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Centaurus 6, Broomfield 5
At Broomfield H.S.
Centaurus (5-2, 3-2) 001 050 0 — 6 10 0
Broomfield (5-4, 4-1) 001 001 3 — 5 7 8
W — Shald (2-0). L — Thomas (1-2). S — Ringham.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Neitenbach 4-1-1-0, Wright 5-1-2-1, Shald 4-1-1-1, Jaskul 3-1-1-0, Matosky 3-0-2-3, Miles 3-0-0-0, Ringham 3-1-1-0, Archuleta 4-1-2-1. Totals 32-6-10-6. 2B — Matosky, Archuleta. SB — Shald, Jaskul, Neitenbach.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Holbrook 3-0-0-0, Bailey 3-0-1-1, Martinez 3-0-1-1, Cox 0-1-0-0, Perrez 4-1-2-2, McCulley 4-0-2-0, Estes 4-0-1-1, Sena 3-0-0-0, Biesterfeld 2-0-0-0, Brewer 2-0-0-0. Totals 28-5-7-5. SB — Bailey, McCulley, Estes.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Shald 6.1-6-5-5-5-2; Ringham 0.2-1-0-0-0-0.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Thomas 3.1-4-3-2-3-4; Reeb 3.2-6-3-3-2-0.