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  • Brad Cochi / BoCoPreps.com

    Legacy pitcher Dylan Grierson delivers to a Monarch batter early in Saturday''s Front Range League baseball game at Legacy. Grierson was not a factor in the decision but yielded just two hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, and Legacy ended up with a 3-1 victory.

  • Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch''s Jake Given puts a swing on a pitch during their game against Legacy on Saturday in Broomfield.

  • Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch''s Peter Nickerson, right, was saddled with a tough loss Saturday allowing just three hits in five innings.

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BROOMFIELD — The Legacy baseball team had so many young players in new starting positions entering the season that this spring promised to be a steep learning curve for the Lightning.

While that was certainly the case early on, the Lightning boys appear to have turned a corner and have been playing winning baseball for the second half of April.

On Saturday, the Lightning broke open a pitcher’s duel with Monarch in the late innings to win 3-1 at Legacy High. Since they struggled through a 3-8 start, the Lightning have now won six of their last seven games and have reached the .500 mark for the first time since they were 1-1 in late March.

“Our guys did a great job of pitching and we had to get some runs,” Lightning junior Cole Jaeger said. “We came in, worked as a team and didn’t give up. We’ve really come together more as a team and we’re definitely more confident in each other. We can put anybody in and we know that they’ll do a job because we just want to win.”

Friday’s Front Range League contest between the Lightning (9-9, 6-2) and the Coyotes (5-8, 2-3) was dominated by the starting pitchers. Legacy’s Dylan Grierson and Monarch’s Peter Nickerson each tossed four scoreless frames to open the contest before Legacy scored a run in the bottom of the fifth and Monarch answered in the top of the sixth.

With the game tied in the bottom of the sixth, the first two Legacy batters walked to start the inning. Making his first appearance of the game as a pinch hitter, Jaeger singled to drive in teammate Cale Claridge and give the Lightning the lead. With two outs later in the inning, Jaeger scored on a passed ball to give the Lightning their third run of the game despite tallying just four hits.

“You have those games where you’re waiting for that one key hit, that one key thing that pops up,” Lightning head coach Ty Giordano said. “Fortunately, they got some hits but not with guys in scoring position, and we got that big hit from Cole Jaeger with guys in scoring position to stick us up.”

The Coyotes finished with a total of six hits and neither team had an extra-base hit in the game. Despite out-hitting the Lightning, the Coyotes, who have lost back-to-back games by a combined three runs, left seven runners on base.

“It was a well-pitched game,” Monarch head coach Scott Weiss said. “Both pitchers were dueling it and it was unfortunate that the game was decided on a couple walks but it was a well-fought battle. This has just kind of been our typical scenario where we just can’t close out games and our record reflects that.”

Legacy will play at Loveland on Tuesday. Monarch will host Lakewood on Monday.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

 

Legacy 3, Monarch 1

At Legacy H.S.

Monarch (5-8, 2-3) 000 001 0 — 1 6 0

Legacy (9-9, 6-2) 000 012 0 — 3 4 0

W — Sehr. L — Nickerson.

Monarch hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Phillips 3-0-1-0, Trofino 4-0-1-0, Martin 2-0-0-0, Siedem 3-0-2-0, Santman 0-0-0-0, Leash 2-0-1-0, Messman 0-0-0-0, Kowalski 3-0-1-1, Cowan 2-0-0-0, Fish 2-0-0-0, Elliott 1-0-0-0, Given 2-0-0-0. Totals 24-1-6-1.

Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Esplin 2-0-0-0, Sehr 3-0-1-1, Lyons 3-0-0-0, Claridge 2-1-2-0, Labuda 2-0-0-0, Garcia 2-0-0-0, Jaeger 1-1-1-1, Maestas 2-0-0-0, Mari 3-0-0-0, Anderson 0-1-0-0, Shelton 1-0-0-0. Totals 21-3-4-2. SB — Anderson, Jaeger.

Monarch pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nickerson 5-3-2-2-5-6, Hadeen 0-1-1-0-0-0, Garcia 1-0-0-0-1-1.

Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Grierson 5.1-2-0-0-5-6, Sehr 1.2-4-1-1-0-3.