LONGMONT — The Centaurus and Longmont baseball teams entered their doubleheader each with the chance to gain separation from the pack in the Northern League race.
Instead, it turned into status quo Saturday.
Centaurus rallied late for a 9-4 win in Game 1, and Will Amen made sure the momentum flipped back to Longmont for an 8-3 Trojans victory in Game 2.
The split twin bill meant Centaurus (8-4, 6-3 Northern League) stayed even with Broomfield (6-6, 5-2) in the conference standings — even if a few percentage points behind — while Longmont (7-6, 6-4) kept its hold on third place as the regular season enters its final two weeks.
Both teams were happy to earn the wins they did get given the tightness of a league race where only the top three teams are guaranteed postseason berths. But both were also left lamenting the game that got away.
“It would have been nice to win two though,” CHS coach Aaron Allen said with a grin after acknowledging the fight his team showed to win in Game 1.
Longmont jumped out to first-inning leads in both games. But three errors over the final two frames in Game 1 coupled with some timely CHS hitting spelled doom for the Trojans in the opener.
Matt Wright’s two-RBI single in the sixth gave the Warriors a 6-4 lead, and they tacked on three more runs in the seventh.
But a somber Trojans dugout didn’t let the momentum swing get it down. LHS scored three runs in the first inning of Game 2 and never looked back.
“I think we played okay (in Game 1) except for (two) innings,” LHS coach Tom Fobes said. “That was late in the game so it was good it didn’t carry over.”
Wright and Jacob Ringham had three hits each, and Justin Angevine added three runs batted in to help lead Centaurus in Game 1.
CHS starting pitcher Colton Royer, meanwhile, settled down after a shaky start to pitch a complete-game four-hitter. He allowed no hits over the final three innings as his team rallied on the offensive side.
“Our mentality was high in the first game,” Wright said. “I think it was lack of focus (in the second game). In order for us to keep moving on we have to keep the focus throughout. If we’re on our A game we can be one of the best teams in our league.”
Indeed, the Warriors committed six errors in Game 2. But Amen — who hadn’t pitched in three weeks due to some arm soreness and a series of canceled games due to weather — had plenty to do with CHS’ troubles as well.
He sat down the first six CHS batters of the game and allowed just five hits over 62/3 innings, striking out a pair. He also homered in the fifth to help extend the Trojans’ lead to 6-0 before the Warriors finally came to life with a pair of doubles and runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Tyler Pettibone had four hits on the day, including three doubles, while Josh Crist tripled and drove in a pair of runs in the second game to help lead Longmont offensively.
“We didn’t really say anything (in the dugout between games) because we knew what we had to do,” Amen said. “I think we were just more focused the second game because we really needed it. We can’t let these conference games slip.”
Follow Josh on Twitter: @Josh Lindenstein
Centaurus 9-3, Longmont 4-8
At Longmont HS
Centaurus 000 204 3 — 9 11 2
Longmont 200 200 0 — 4 4 5
W — Royer. L — Crist.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Neitenbach 4-0-0-1, Wright 4-1-3-2, Shald 3-0-1-0, Matosky 4-2-1-0, Ringham 4-2-3-1, Angevine 3-2-1-3, DeVito 1-1-0-0, Egan 4-0-1-0, Miles 4-1-1-1, Royer 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-9-11-8. 2B — Ringham 2.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Magee 3-0-0-0, Rulon 0-0-0-0, Yee 4-1-1-1, Crist 4-1-2-0, Leroux 3-0-0-0, Amen 3-0-0-0, Pettibone 2-1-1-1, Z. Zamudio 2-1-0-0, Sterkel 1-0-0-0, Price 0-0-0-0, Rothe 3-0-0-1, Zuege 0-0-0-0, Invaldsen 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-4-4-3. 2B — Pettibone. SB — Crist 2.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Royer 7-4-4-2-5-1. HB — Royer.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Crist 6-8-6-2-4-4, Ingvaldsen 1-3-3-2-0-2.
Longmont 310 020 2 — 8 9 1
Centaurus 000 020 1 — 3 5 6
W — Amen. L — Shald.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Magee 2-1-0-0, Yee 3-2-0-0, Crist 3-1-1-2, Leroux 3-2-1-1, Amen 4-1-2-1, Rulon 0-0-0-0, Pettibone 4-1-3-1, Z. Zamudio 4-0-1-0, Sterkel 3-0-0-0, Rothe 3-0-1-0, J. Zamudio 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-8-9-5. 2B — Pettibone 2, Rothe. 3B — Crist. HR — Amen (Solo in 5th). SB — Yee, Leroux, Rothe.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Matosky 2-0-0-0, Wright 4-0-1-1, Shald 3-0-0-0, Jaskul 4-0-0-0, Ringham 1-0-0-0, Angevine 3-0-0-0, Neitenbach 3-1-1-0, Miles 1-0-0-0, Scott 2-1-1-0, Martinelli 3-1-2-2, DeVito 0-0-0-0. 2B — Neitenbach, Martinelli.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Amen 6.2-5-3-3-5-2, Sterkel 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Shald 6-8-7-4-1-2, Ringham 1-1-1-1-1-1. HB — Shald 2.