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BROOMFIELD — Sometimes, baseball can come down to pure, late-game strategy, and all it takes is one misfire to sway a result in one team’s favor.

On Thursday night at Broomfield High School, Broomfield walked off against Boulder, 4-3, in the eighth inning off of a hit by pitch after Boulder chose to load the bases. The Panthers were trying to get the force-out at home. Instead, they handed the Eagles their third one-run victory of the season.

“It felt good being on third base, knowing that I stole two bags to get two intentional walks,” Broomfield’s Camden Ross said. “It felt good to get the win. It was a stressful one.”

Both starting pitchers put on solid performances as Broomfield’s Garret Klein struck out seven and Boulder’s Dylan Pyle took out six.

“Our young pitchers actually came in and did a really nice job,” Boulder’s Jackson Woolwine said. “We lost a lot of our senior leadership, mainly pitchers, so it’s nice seeing that.”

Broomfield junior Ryan Anderson got the Eagles on the board first when, in the bottom of the second, he launched the ball over the left field wall to drive in two runs.

Two innings later, the Panthers clawed their way back to a draw. With two on and no outs, Boulder began to employ more aggressive baserunning as Ryan Sunderland advanced to third on a passed ball and, moments later, Cooper Conroy stole second.

That strategy paid dividends for Boulder when, in the next at-bat, Woolwine drove Sunderland in from third on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1. Two batters later, Conroy came home on a groundout to first.

The tides looked like they started to turn in Boulder’s favor in the top of the sixth inning when the Panthers took advantage of a single pitching mistake from Broomfield. Klein threw a wild pitch and Woolwine saw the green light to come home. He barely beat out the throw from Broomfield catcher Ross, and it was 3-2 in favor of the visitors.

The Eagle offense was having none of that.

Not keen on entering the seventh inning with a one-run deficit, Ross took to the batter’s box in the leadoff spot in the bottom of the sixth. He propelled the ball over the center field wall to tie the game back up at 3s.

Then the stakes rose to exponential levels.

In the top of the seventh, the Eagles deployed the ever-risky strategy of intentionally loading the bases on two outs. Broomfield pitcher Jacob Rice threw two balls, then composed himself and hurled three straight strikes.

Danny Balderas-Lujan took the mound for the Panthers in the bottom of the frame and ended it after facing just three batters.

Free baseball.

Broomfield’s pitching staff escaped the top of the eighth unscathed. In the bottom of that inning, Boulder’s pitcher did not. After walking Ross to lead the bottom of the eighth, the Panthers made the decision to intentionally walk the next two. When Balderas-Lujan hit the fourth Broomfield batter, it automatically sent Ross home for the walk-off walk.

“It’s no fun to lose, ever,” Boulder head coach Jack Taylor said. “It doesn’t get more exciting than that, more draining than that. It was a full-team effort, trying to figure out who’s going next, what to do next. We battled back and tied. Dylan Pyle threw a great game — 100-plus pitches. It was just a great game.”

With the final decision, the Eagles improved to 3-0 and the Panthers fell to 1-1. In a shortened, high-stakes season, every victory counts.

“You’ve got to get wins when you can with RPI,” Broomfield head coach Garren Estes said. “You can’t hold pitchers back because you can’t wait for the next game. You’ve got to play the game that’s at hand … because if you have a couple bad games and bad losses, then your chances of getting in that 24(-team playoff bracket) could get slim.”