BROOMFIELD — It took just four and a half innings for Holy Family baseball to make its statement as the postseason nears.
On Tuesday at Holy Family High School, the fourth-ranked Tigers (13-1) brought the hammer down on visiting Frederick (7-8) with a 12-0 finish. Senior second baseman Blake Hammond earned his first career grand slam in the process.
“It felt great. I just tried to jump on the pitch early,” Hammond said. “It was nice just getting an early start to the game so I could help out Izaak out on the mound and just start everything out right.”
Holy Family’s infectious offense only helped bolster an already sharp performance from senior starting pitcher Izaak Siefken, who threw against all but one batter and struck out 12 men in the process.
From there, the Tigers kept the fire going throughout the first two frames before cooling off significantly.
“They’re a good ball team,” Frederick head coach Colin York said. “We have been struggling at the plate this year, so one of the things that I was glad to see is that we had some good at-bats against their ace. Obviously, he dominated like he does against most competition, but I felt like we kind of gave him good looks here and there.”
The Tigers illustrated why Colorado’s coaches regard them so highly in the very first inning.
After the Tigers loaded the bases through two base hits and a walk, Hammond made Frederick pitcher Bryce Conover pay. With a smooth swing of the bat, he sent every runner home, including himself, as he propelled the grand slam ball over the center field wall. Holy Family took the 4-0 advantage heading into the top of the second inning.
Hammond did it again in the bottom of that second frame. With the bases loaded once more and the outfield at his disposal, he launched it into shallow right-center field to drive in two more runs. Not to be outdone, Ryan Chacon hit a moonshot over the center field wall to bring two additional runs home.
By the time Holy Family allowed Frederick to step up to the plate again, it had increased that lead to 12-0. That score held throughout the next two and a half innings, long enough to invoke the mercy rule in the middle of the fifth to send the Warriors packing.
“The boys play for something bigger,” Holy Family head coach John Ray said. “The name on the front of their jersey means a lot — the school, the things they believe, the way they learn. They play for more than just wins.”
The Warriors return home one last time this season as they prepare to take on Centaurus at home on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Holy Family, on the other hand, will travel for its final two regular-season contests, first at Chatfield on Wednesday and then at Severance on Thursday for 4 p.m. starts.
Despite the late-season setback, Frederick senior Chase Prestwich believes the Warriors’ returning players will be stronger for it in the long run.
“The more they get to see (this kind of competition), then the better they get with it,” Prestwich said. “They learn something from facing a pitcher like that and a team like this.”
As for the Tigers, they’re at the will of the CHSAA selection committee to see where their postseason hopes and dreams will lie. CHSAA meets on June 13 to seed the Class 4A tournament as the first round is slated to start the next day.