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Baseball: Too little, too late for Legacy despite topping Broomfield

BROOMFIELD — With just 19 games in the regular season, it is easy for both Broomfield and Legacy to look back and say, “What if?”

The big costly inning, the hit that didn’t drop, or untimely errors cost both squads all season and had them both on the outside looking in at the Class 5A playoff picture.

Saturday’s first meeting between the rivals as Front Range League foes will ultimately go down as a bragging rights win for Legacy, 3-1, in the City of Broomfield and the end of an era for a talented senior class of Lightning ball players.

“Each group is unique and some are obviously more special than others, this is a group whose character is unbelievable and I love them dearly,” Legacy coach Ty Giordano said. “Hopefully things go our way and we get a shot to play.

“We’ll find out tomorrow.”

It doesn’t look good for the Lightning, who after the victory remained at No. 42 in the updated CHSAANow.com Wild Card points system with 98.789 points. Legacy (9-10, 6-6 in the Front Range)is behind a laundry list of teams that are not automatic qualifiers relying on the points to get into the playoff field.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for Legacy, which seemed to be playing its best baseball late in the season. After a tough nine-inning loss to Fairview on Tuesday, the Lightning came back and beat top-ranked and defending champion Rocky Mountain on Thursday.

“We had a meeting after the Horizon game and after that we started playing the way we were capable of playing,” said Giordano, whose team lost three one-run games this season. “We are definitely playing our best baseball late, but unfortunately we might have been in too big of a hole to see if we can play our best baseball in the playoffs.”

Legacy jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on the Eagles in the first inning, scoring an unearned run against Broomfield started Carlos Amador. Jared Crockett reached on second baseman Joey Arensdorf’s error and came around to score on Brandon Pearce’s base hit.

The Lightning tacked on another in the second. A two-out walk to nine-hole hitter Bradon O’Connor was cashed in after a stolen base and a single to right from Crockett.

It would be all the offense Crockett needed on the mound. The senior, who is undecided about his baseball future, was in complete control on the bump.

He effectively challenged the Broomfield hitters with mostly fastballs, but was able to mix it up with off-speed stuff when needed. Crockett didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, when Chase Arnold drove in James Notary, who had earlier reached on an error.

“It’s a rivalry game against Broomfield and we just wanted to come out and win it. It didn’t matter if it was our last game or not,” said Crockett, who was 2 for 4 at the plate with a run scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. “I just wanted to get ahead with the fastball and then establish everything else I had.”

Crockett had some sparkling defense behind him as well, including a shortstop Matt Ayala, who made a diving stop on Caleb Cox’s hard hit ball back up the middle, recovered and gunned him out at first.

“When you have senior day, it’s great to see seniors contribute like you hope they would,” Giordano said. “Crock did throw an unbelievable game, came up with some key hits as well, Matty with a big play and of course Wyatt (Cross) behind the plate and then Brandon (Pearce) with possibly his last high school at-bat is a home run.”

Pearce added the insurance run for the Lightning in the sixth, taking the third pitch he saw from reliever Notary over the center field fence.

For Broomfield, which managed just two hits all day, it was another wasted outing for one of their starters. Amador threw five strong innings, striking out eight and allowing just one earned run.

“You look back and every team does, you take some innings away and we are a three loss team. We kill ourselves and we give an inning away were we can’t make defensive plays and teams in this league are going to capitalize,” said Broomfield coach Garren Estes, whose team lost five one-run games this season, including four in the FRL. “When we play well, we can win games like we did against Fairview.

“Our pitchers have been great, it’s one of the top ones I’ve had for a long time.”

Broomfield will try to go out on a winning note when they travel to Castle Rock on Monday to close out the season against Douglas County.

Follow Jon on Twitter: twitter.com/JonEYunt

Legacy 3, Broomfield 1

At Legacy HS

Broomfield (6-12, 4-8) 000 100 0 — 1 2 2

Legacy (9-10, 6-6) 110 001 x — 3 7 1

W — Jared Crockett (2-2). L — Carlos Amador (2-3). S — Josh Chamberlain.

Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Josh Cox 3-0-0-0, James Notary 3-1-0-0, Walter Pennington 3-0-1-0, Logan McCormick 0-0-0-0, Caleb Cox 2-0-0-0, Chase Arnold 2-0-1-1, Alex Eskridge 3-0-0-0, Angelo Alvarado 0-0-0-0, Shane Wetzel 3-0-0-0, Joey Arensdorf 0-0-0-0, Nic Carter 3-0-0-0, Carlos Amador 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-1-2-1. 2B — Pennington. SB — Notary.

Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jared Crockett 4-1-2-1, Matt Ayala 2-0-1-0, Jordan Luthi 3-0-0-0, Paul Thompson 3-0-1-0, Brandon Pearce 3-1-2-2, Grant Kovar 2-0-0-0, Wyatt Cross 0-0-0-0, Brent Wells 1-0-0-0, Nick Griffey 3-0-0-0, Jeff Jaramillo 2-0-0-0, Josh Chamberlain 0-0-0-0, John Logan 0-0-0-0, Brandon O’Connor 2-1-1-0. HR — Pearce (solo in the 6th). SB — O’Connor, Crockett.

Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Amador 5-5-2-1-2-8; Notary 1-2-1-1-1-1.

Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Crockett 5.2-2-1-0-2-5; Chamberlain 1.1-0-0-0-0-1.

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