The Longmont baseball team has been in so many critical situations this season that even the Trojans have lost count of them.
On Saturday, they added two more and came through both times to win the Class 4A District 5 championship at Windsor High School.
The Trojans pulled off a 4-3 walk-off win against Thomas Jefferson in the district first-round game and then rallied for a 4-3, nine-inning walk-off win over Broomfield in the championship game.
“We believed in each other and we stuck with it all day and that’s why we came out on top of the district,” senior shortstop Andrew Bladt said.
It was Bladt who delivered the game-winner against Northern Conference-rival Broomfield (10-11), ripping a double to left-center field that scored three runs.
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Trojans (14-7) loaded the bases, and Bladt came to the plate with one out.
“I was like 0-for-5 the rest of the game and I was just trying to put something in play and move the line along and get Kyler (Leroux) up because he’s been hot all day,” said Bladt, who finished 1-for-5 against the Eagles. “I just got a hold of something, put it in the gap and it scored three runs.”
His double drove two runs in, and then a Broomfield error on the play brought Cameron Yee to the plate with the game-winner. It was Longmont’s second come-from-behind walk-off win against Broomfield this season.
On Saturday, Longmont was in a tough spot going into the bottom of the ninth inning because Broomfield’s Kyle Holbrook belted a two-run homer in the top of the inning to break a 1-1 tie.
“I threw that change-up right on the outside and I hit my spot; he just put a good bat on it,” said Longmont’s Brett Sterkel, who pitched all nine innings. “He’s a good player.”
The last inning fireworks were what both coaches expected from the start of the game. Broomfield and Longmont split their regular-season two-game series, scoring 40 runs between them.
Instead, Sterkel and Broomfield’s Eddie Flores both pitched brilliant games. Sterkel tossed seven consecutive scoreless innings before giving up the home run to Holbrook, while Flores held Longmont scoreless for six straight until the final frame.
Both teams got exceptional performances in the first round, too.
Coming in as the No. 31 seed in the 32-team districts, Broomfield was expected to bow out early against No. 2 Windsor (18-2). However, the Eagles scored three first-inning runs and rode that to a 4-2 upset of the host Wizards. Alex Eskridge, Tanner Thomas and Troy Brewer all hit first inning doubles for the Eagles.
Finishing with a losing record isn’t what Broomfield is used to doing, but the Eagles were proud of the way they played when it mattered.
“We played hard both games,” Eagles coach Garren Estes said. “We knew we were a good, strong ball club. Any loss is tough, but when the kids play so hard and we don’t get the outcome we wanted, it makes it even harder.”
In its first-round game, 15th-seeded Longmont was one out away from a 3-1 victory against No. 18 Thomas Jefferson before the Spartans put five consecutive hitters on base, tying the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the inning. Leroux hit a bases-loaded RBI single over a drawn-in infield to score Yee with the game-winning run. Leroux went 2-for-4 with three RBI in that game.
Now, the Trojans are one of just eight teams still standing, and they like their chances going forward.
“We know we’re a pretty good team and when we play like we did today, we’re capable of beating anybody,” Trojans coach Tom Fobes said. “What we’ve done all year is just persevere. That seems to be our word this year.”
Longmont 4, Broomfield 3
Broomfield 100 000 002 — 3 8 3
Longmont 010 000 003 — 4 9 8
W — Brett Sterkel (5-4). L — Simeon Combs (2-1).
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kyle Holbrook 3-2-2-2, Alex Eskridge 3-0-0-0, Tanner Thomas 3-0-1-0, Caleb Cox 4-0-2-0, Josh Williamson 0-0-0-0, Troy Brewer 3-0-1-0, Carlos Amador 3-0-0-0, Cole Biesterfeld 3-0-0-0, Eddie Flores 4-1-2-0, Preston Riley 4-0-0-0. Totals 30-3-8-2. . 2B —Holbrook, Thomas, Cox, Brewer. HR —Holbrook (1 on in 9th).
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cameron Yee 3-1-1-0, Will Amen 4-0-3-0, Andrew Bladt 5-0-1-2, Kyler Leroux 4-0-1-0, Mason Peterson 4-0-0-0, Spencer Zuege 3-0-0-0, Brett Sterkel 3-0-1-0, Nick Madrid 0-1-0-0, Kavan Andrew 2-0-0-0, Nathan Price 0-1-0-0, Cooper Rothe 3-1-2-1. Totals 31-4-9-3. 2B — Bladt.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Flores 8-7-2-2-3-8, Combs 0.1-2-2-1-0-1.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sterkel 9-8-3-3-4-7..
Broomfield 4, Windsor 2
At Windsor HS
Broomfield 300 100 0 — 4 9 0
Windsor 002 000 0 — 2 5 0
W — Tanner Thomas (4-2). L — Cole Brandon (8-1).
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kyle Holbrook 3-1-2-1, Alex Eskridge 4-1-1-1, Tanner Thomas 2-1-1-1, Caleb Cox 3-0-0-0, Josh Williamson 0-0-0-0, Troy Brewer 4-0-1-1, Carlos Amador 3-0-0-0, Cole Biesterfeld 2-1-1-0, Simeon Combs 3-0-1-0, Preston Riley 3-0-2-0. Totals 27-4-9-4. . 2B —Eskridge, Thomas, Brewer. . CS —Thomas, Riley.
Windsor hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Brandon Deering 3-1-0-0, Timmy Pribble 4-1-2-1, David Watson 2-0-1-0, Tyler Shubert 3-0-1-1, Stephen Gibbens 0-0-0-0, Dustin Starck 3-0-0-0, Patrick Fischer 3-0-0-0, Garrett Graff 2-0-1-0, Trevor Knott 3-0-0-0, Stephen Wheeler 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-5-2. . SB —Deering, Graff..
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — — Thomas 4-4-2-2-2-2, Combs 3-1-0-0-3-2..
Windsor pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Brandon 4-7-4-4-1-3, Garrett Hammond 3-2-0-0-2-3.
Longmont 4, Thomas Jefferson 3
Thomas Jefferson 001 000 2 — 3 6 0
Longmont 100 020 1 — 4 9 2
W — Will Amen (6-3). L — Sam Reed (5-2).
Thomas Jefferson hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jeffery Torres 4-0-2-0, Sam Reed 2-0-1-1, Cooper Bowermaster 1-0-0-1, Shawn Kelly 3-0-0-0, Kenny Muniz 3-0-0-0, Patrick McDuffie 3-0-0-0, David Peterson 3-0-0-0, Andrew Alonzo 3-0-1-0, Dylan Pietrs 0-1-0-0, Seve Rogers 3-2-2-0. Totals 25-3-6-2. . SB —Reed. CS —Torres, Bowermaster.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — — Cameron Yee 4-3-3-0, Will Amen 3-0-1-0, Nathan Price 0-0-0-0, Andrew Bladt 3-1-1-1, Kyler Leroux 4-0-2-3, Mason Peterson 2-0-0-0, Nick Madrid 0-0-0-0, Spencer Zuege 2-0-0-0, Brett Sterkel 2-0-0-0, Kavan Andrew 3-0-1-0, Cooper Rothe 3-0-1-0. Totals 26-4-9-4.. 2B — Leroux. SB —Yee.
Thomas Jefferson (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Reed 6-9-4-4-4-6.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Amen 7-6-3-1-5-9..