BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield Eagles turned defense into offense on Thursday afternoon against Longmont.
Coach Garren Estes’ baseball team turned four double plays against the Trojans — and should have turned five — and the good feelings out in the field followed them to the plate.
The Eagles erased an early 3-0 Longmont lead with a seven-run fourth inning and went on to beat the Trojans 10-3 to improve to 5-2 in the Northern League.
“We stress a lot of defense in our practice, a lot of ground balls, a lot of live double plays and so forth,” said Estes, whose team will make their annual trip to San Diego for a three-game set early next week. “Double plays are hugs and it lets our pitchers relax.
“We can throw a strike and they may hit it hard, but our defense is going to back them up.”
Longmont, ranked No. 6 in the latest Class 4A AP media poll, was working on a big inning in the third. The Trojans had already plated three runs, two coming on Andrew Bladt’s double, when the Eagles turned their first double play. With Bladt still standing on second, Kyler LeRoux lined a ball that shortstop Carlos Amador went up high to snag. A quick toss to second erased Bladt.
Longmont was again threatening in the fourth with runners at first and second and one out. Cooper Rothe’s grounder to third was fielded by Carson Willard, who stepped on the bag to force out Spencer Zuege. Zuege’s slide, however, took out Willard’s ankle and after a quick conference, the umpires determined that it was interference, resulting in the third out of the inning.
“Coaches are going to yell at umpires when we think they’ve made a bad call, but as a player you can’t hear that,” Longmont coach Tom Fobes said. “That is the coach’s job to worry about that kind of stuff, the kids just have to go play.”
Feeding off the momentum, the Broomfield bats went to work against Trojans starter Will Amen. The first five batters reached in the fourth, with the big blow coming off the bat of Eddie Flores, whose single down the left field line scored two and tied the game at 3-3.
“We just kept working hard,” said Flores, who finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs. “The last couple of games we started out slow, so we just changed our mindset and gave it all we had.”
The Eagles would send 11 batters to the plate in the fourth and Carlos Amador, Alex Eskridge and Kyle Holbrook would all deliver RBI hits against Amen, who had a four-pitch inning in the second, before he was pulled in favor of Nick Madrid.
“Earlier this season we would carry a bad inning to the next inning and so forth,” Estes said. “Now we have it figured out, the inning is over, there is nothing we can do about it, we’ve just got to move on and treat it as a seven inning game.”
Longmont looked like it would respond right away in the top of the fifth. The Trojans loaded the bases against Thomas and reliever Simeon Combs with one out. But Combs, who was brilliant over his 2.2 innings, got Mason Peterson to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Eagles pounded out 11 hits, including two each from Amador, Thomas, Cox and Flores while benefitting from four Longmont errors.
For Longmont, losers of their past two games, they managed just two hits from the fourth inning on and will have to a short memory. They turn around and face the Eagles again on Saturday at home.
“But in the same sense, you have to evaluate and move forward. You don’t want to forget about it immediately, you still want to think about what happened out here and what can we do better,” Fobes said.
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Broomfield 10, Longmont 3
Longmont (6-4, 4-2) 003 000 0 — 3 5 4
Broomfield (5-4, 4-2) 000 721 x — 10 11 1
W — Thomas (2-1). L — Amen (3-2).
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cameron Yee 3-1-1-1, Will Amen 2-1-0-0, Andrew Bladt 3-0-1-2, Kyler LeRoux 2-0-0-0, Mason Peterson 3-0-0-0, Spencer Zuege 2-0-2-0, Brett Sterkel 3-0-1-0, Kavan Andrew 3-0-0-0, Cooper Rothe 3-1-0-0, Easton Cacala 0-0-0-0, Nick Madrid 0-0-0-0, Barrett Ingvaldsen 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-3-5-3. 2B —Bladt. SB —Amen, Rothe.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Carlos Amador 3-2-2-2, Alex Eskridge 4-1-2-1, Kyle Holbrook 3-1-1-1, Tanner Thomas 3-1-2-2, Caleb Cox 4-0-2-0, Josh Williamson 0-1-0-0, Eddie Flores 3-1-2-3, Cole Biesterfeld 1-1-0-0, Carson Willard 2-0-0-0, Simeon Combs 1-1-0-1, Troy Brewer 3-1-0-0. Totals 27-10-11-10. 2B — Holbrook, Flores. SB —Amador, Eskridge, Williamson, Biesterfeld, Brewer.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Amen 3.2-6-7-4-1-3, Madrid 1.1-2-3-3-1-0, Ingvaldsen 1-2-0-0-0-0.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Thomas 4.1-4-3-1-5-2, Combs 2.2-1-0-0-1-0.