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Baseball: Rocky Mountain breaks out big bats against Broomfield

FORT COLLINS — Broomfield baseball coach Garren Estes was more than aware what the indoctrination process was for his team heading into Class 5A.

On Tuesday at Gabe Pando Park, his Eagles faced the gold standard of Colorado baseball over the past decade in Rocky Mountain. The Lobos have won five big-school state titles since 2007, including last season.

“There is no other team we want to play,” Estes said. “We want to play the best and we may win and we might lose, but we try and play the best teams we can.”

Ranked No. 2 in the latest AP media poll, Rocky Mountain (5-3, 2-0) crushed four home runs — including two grand slams — and beat the Eagles in their first ever Front Range League game 14-2 in five innings.

If there was any intimidation, it didn’t show early. Broomfield came out swinging against Lobos starter Austin Alarid and plated and early run on Walter Pennington’s ground-rule double that sliced away from Rocky center fielder Cole Anderson before hopping over the fence.

“It felt good,” said Pennington, a junior who went 2 for 3. “He came at me with two curve balls and then a fastball up on 2-1 that was the perfect pitch to hit a double on.”

The lead didn’t last long.

The very first pitch from Eagles starter Zach Squire — a letter-high fastball — was promptly deposited 420 feet over the center field fence by Anderson.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the third, when the Lobos’ potent bats woke up against Squire with two outs. A Kyle Reisman single drove in Daniel Ciraula and two batters later Chad Bell crushed a three-run home run to put Rocky up 5-1. Squire would surrender one more run when he balked in pinch-runner Rian Olson before giving way to James Notary.

“We competed right off the bat, getting that run in the first and after that we let them dictate the game,” Estes said. “We took a lot of strikes, a lot of third strikes.

“Then we made some changes, we had six walks, three hit batsmen and there is not much you can do about that, but it just puts base runners on and it puts our guys in tough situations. If you give them fastballs, they are going to hit and hit it hard.”

The Rocky onslaught continued in the fourth inning. The first three hitters reached against Notary and after retiring the clean-up man Reisman on a pop-up to short, catcher Garrett Hammer cleared the bases with the first of two Lobos grand slams.

Rocky Mountain loaded the bases again with two outs, but Notary made a great pitch to Anderson in on the hands and forced him to fly out to Josh Cox in left field.

Cox would score in the top half of the fifth on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 10-2, but it only temporarily stopped the bleeding.

The Lobos loaded the bases against the Eagles third pitcher, Mason Speirs, and then Chad Bell belted his second home run of the game — a walk-off grand slam. For the day, Bell was 2 for 3 with seven RBIs.

Broomfield will have to have a short memory, as it turns around to host Horizon on Thursday at home.

“We’ve got one day to figure it out. That’s the one thing about this league, whether you win or lose, you’ve got to move on,” Estes said. “The kids saw that, they know if we want to compete and get in the playoffs, we are going to have to step up against good teams and we didn’t do that today.”

Said Pennington: “We are not going to forget about, we are going to learn from this. Hopefully we will take that into the next game and try and get better.”

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Rocky Mountain 14, Broomfield 2

At Rocky Mountain HS

Broomfield (3-5, 1-1) 100 01 — 2 5 2

Rocky Mountain (5-3, 2-0) 105 44 — 14 12 2

W — Austin Alarid (2-0). L — Zach Squire (0-2).

Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Josh Cox 1-2-1-0, Zach Squire 0-0-0-0, James Notary 3-0-0-0, Mason Speirs 0-0-0-0, Walter Pennington 3-0-2-1, Caleb Cox 2-0-0-0, Tommy Trotter 0-0-0-0, Carlos Amador 2-0-0-0, Joey Arensdorf 1-0-0-0, Alex Eskridge 2-0-1-0, Shane Wetzel 2-0-1-0, Logan McCormick 2-0-0-0, Angelo Alvarado 1-0-0-0, Nic Carter 0-0-0-0. Totals 19-2-5-1. 2B — Pennington.

Rocky Mountain hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cole Anderson 4-2-2-1, Daniel Ciraula 3-2-2-0, John Sorensen 2-2-0-0, Kyle Reisman 3-0-1-1, Austin Maciel 0-1-0-0, Collin O’Donnell 0-1-0-0, Garrett Hammer 3-2-2-4, Chad Bell 3-2-2-7, TJ Solverud 2-0-1-0, Rian Olson 0-1-0-0, Alex Gonzales 3-0-2-0, Kadin Breeze 2-0-0-0, Eastin Dolan 0-0-0-0, Austin Alarid 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-14-12-13. 2B — Ciraula. HR — Anderson (solo in 1st); Bell (two on in 3rd); Hammer (grand slam in 4th); Bell (grand slam in 5th).

Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Squire 3-7-6-5-3-1; Notary 1-4-4-3-1-1; Speirs 0-1-4-4-2-0.

Rocky Mountain pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Alarid 4+-5-2-1-2-9; Olson 1-0-0-0-1-1.

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