Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com
Brad Cochi / BoCoPreps.com
LONGMONT — If the Longmont baseball team was looking for a good way to kick off the second half of their season, they found it on Tuesday afternoon.
Hosting the Windsor Wizards, who are ranked sixth in Class 5A by the CHSAANow.com poll, the Trojans jumped out to an early lead and won, 7-3.
“Coming in, we didn’t think we were going to be a top-five team this late in the season so this was huge for us,” Longmont senior Brady Renck said. “We got our runners on and we hit the ball in the right spots today. We’ve just played really well together. We’ve got good pitching, we’re playing fundamental baseball and it’s all starting to come together.”
In Tuesday’s game, the Trojans (11-4, 6-2) jumped out to a 7-1 lead over the Wizards (12-2, 8-0) after two innings. Ranked fifth in Class 4A, the Trojans capitalized on three walks and a hit batter to score six runs in the bottom of the second inning and held the lead with a strong group of pitchers.
Longmont’s Leif Neusken struck out three batters over three innings after allowing a run on back-to-back hits in the first inning. Jack Ouweneel held the lead while allowing two runs over two innings of relief. John Vandiver, making his varsity debut, pitched a scoreless sixth, and Renck finished out the game with a scoreless seventh.
“This game was the game for those guys to pitch well,” Longmont head coach Tom Fobes said. “We’ve got a bunch of games coming up so we’re trying to set up our pitchers so they’re all available the rest of the week. Even Brady, he’s so important to us defensively, but he said he wanted an inning so I said, ‘Go ahead.'”
The top of the Longmont order certainly catalyzed the Trojans’ win. Renck, who is batting .600 with three home runs this season, went 2-for-4 in Tuesday’s game, as did two-hole hitter Grant Rulon. The pair combined for three runs scored and two RBIs.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Wizards had won 12 straight games since losing to Horizon in their season opener. The Trojans have now won eight of their last nine games.
“We’re playing pretty well, up and down, really,” Fobes said. “We’re never too up or never too down, we’re even-keel. We’re just competing really well and we did that today. Hopefully, that’s going to carry over for the rest of the season.
“This game is never easy. You just have to come out and play as good of baseball as you can. That’s what we’ve been doing and I guess it’s working.”
The Trojans will return to Northern League play when they travel to face Thompson Valley (5-10, 3-5) on Thursday.
Longmont 7, Windsor 3
At Longmont H.S.
Windsor 100 2000 0 — 3 7 0
Longmont 160 000 0 — 7 7 1
W — Nuesken. L — Rogers.
Windsor hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Baessler 4-0-0-0, Martinez 4-0-1-0, Lockner 3-1-1-0, Morfin 3-0-1-1, Myatt 3-0-0-0, Thornton 3-1-2-0, Barker 3-0-0-0, Bonner 2-1-0-0, Hansen 2-0-2-2, Rogers 0-0-0-0, Schumacher 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-3-7-3. 2B — Hansen 2, Morfin.
Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Renck 4-1-2-0, Rulon 4-2-2-2, Nowells 3-1-1-0, Gumeson 2-1-0-0, Benes 2-1-0-1, Deeter 4-0-0-1, James 2-0-1-2, Northouse 2-1-1-0, Martinez 1-0-0-0, Nuesken 0-0-0-0, Ouweneel 0-0-0-0, Vandiver 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-7-7-7. SB — Gumeson.
Windsor pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Rogers 1.2-5-7-7-4-1, Schumacher 3.1-2-0-0-3-4, Martinez 1-0-0-0-0-3.
Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nuesken 3-4-1-1-0-3, Ouweneeel 2-2-2-2-1-0, Vandiver 1-1-0-0-0-1, Renck 1-0-0-0-1-0.