DENVER — Zach Dedin has trotted around many base paths in his time playing in his time as a baseball player. But not like this.
At Coors Field on Tuesday, the Holy Family senior captain wasted no time in living out a childhood dream shared by many who grow up in Colorado.
In the first inning of a 14-5 rout of Erie High School, Dedin hit a two-run home run into the bullpen in right-center field. He’d hit dingers at prep fields and he’d seen similar home runs on television but it was finally Dedin’s chance to break out the Major League ballpark trot.
“I just saw an inner half fastball and got the barrel to it,” Dedin said. “It’s so cool to think about all of the greats who have hit home run there like Todd Helton and Carlos Gonzalez. It’s definitely a great one for the memory banks.”
Dedin finished 3 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs. His home run sparked a three-run first inning and an early 3-0 lead.
But after the excitement in the opening frame, the undefeated Holy Family (13-0) lineup hit a lull. After the top of the fourth inning, the defending 3A state champion club found itself trailing Erie (6-5) by a 4-3 deficit.
While the long ball and the allure of the big ballpark got them the early lead, it was a return to the basics that got the Holy Family boys back in front.
“First of all, anytime you’re behind it’s a great win,” senior Conor Stanley said. “To do it at Coors is very surreal. We never gave up and we kept battling back. We stayed within ourselves and believed that we could do it.”
After scoreless second and third innings, Holy Family roared back with five runs in the fourth and six runs in the fifth. Holy Family had a nine-run lead when the game was called because of the two-hour time limit for high school games at Coors Field.
Nick Kreutzer gave Holy Family the lead with a two-RBI single during the five-run fourth inning. Kreutzer also picked up the win in relief of starting pitcher Zach Trombley, who labored before taking a hard line drive to his throwing arm and exiting after the third inning.
“He had runners on a lot so to come out relatively undamaged was great,” head coach Eric Nakayama said.
Defensively, Holy Family helped out the pitchers by turning inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded in the third and fifth innings. Erie left 10 runners on base.
Offensively, Holy Family has now outscored its first 13 opponents 209-40.
Stanley went 4 for 4 with a pair of RBIs and Austin Brown with 2 for 4 with a run and three RBIs in his first time batting in the two-hole.
“We’ve had a good history with the football rivalry with Erie and going to 4A next year, we were excited to play Erie,” Nakayama said. “They’re a scrappy bunch of kids. We just got back to hitting singles and doubles and we held on. Teams are going to give us everything they’ve got so we need to keep playing our best.”
Erie head coach Harold Simmons said his team did a good job of getting runners on base but doomed itself with its inability to cash in on scoring opportunities.
“That was the killer,” Simmons said. “There were a couple times when I thought about bunting and I thought it was going to take six or seven runs to win the game anyway so we kept swinging it. We got a little sloppy there in those couple innings and they hit the ball and it was over.”
Senior Joe Ramey led Erie with two hits and two RBIs. Senior Kyle Leahy also had two hits and an RBI.
Holy Family will travel to play Manitou Springs (6-5, 4-2 Tri-Peaks West) on Wednesday. Erie will host Berthoud on Thursday (3-9, 1-7 Tri-Valley).
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Holy Family 14, Erie 5
At Coors Field
Erie 021 110 — 5 9 1
Holy Family 300 56x — 14 14 0
W — Kreutzer. L — Dotson.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ramey 4-0-2-2, C. Brink 2-1-1-1, C. Crites 3-0-0-0, Leahy 4-1-2-1, Begano 3-0-1-0, Hurst 0-1-0-0, Dotson 2-1-1-0, Blount 0-0-0-0, Ogimachi 1-0-0-0, D. Brink 3-1-1-1, Jensen 2-0-1-0, J. Crites 1-0-0-0. Totals 25-5-9-5. 3B — Leahy. SB — Begano, Jensen.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-hrbi) — Stanley 4-2-4-2, Brown 4-1-2-3, Granberg 3-0-0-0, Johnson 1-0-0-0, Trombley 2-2-1-0, Dedin 3-3-3-2, Tinnon 2-2-1-1, Martinez 1-1-0-0, McManus 2-1-1-1, Kreutzer 3-0-1-2, Phillips 2-1-1-1, Lenzner 0-1-0-0. Totals 27-14-14-12. 2B — Stanley 2, Brown. 3B — Tinnon, Phillips. HR — Dedin (1 on in 1st). SB — Trombley.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Dotson 3 1/3-9-8-8-1-1, Begano 1-4-6-6-2-0, Blount 0-1-0-0-0-0, C. Crites 2/3-0-0-0-1-1.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Trombley 3-6-3-3-3-3, Kreutzer 3-3-2-2-2-2.