CENTENNIAL — No game in the Class 5A state baseball tournament comes easy, especially past the initial round of play in the eight-team event.
Although eighth-seeded Fairview ultimately got the better of seventh-seeded Broomfield on Saturday at Eaglecrest High School, the Eagles fought back to make it interesting in the final at-bats of the 8-5 decision. They left two runners stranded before the Knights took care of them, thus ending Broomfield’s 2021 run.
“To get to the final eight, it says something, and that’s what we want at Broomfield,” head coach Garren Estes said. “We’re going to compete. We competed at 4A, now we’re competing at 5A (since 2015) and we’re one of the smaller 5A schools. … You obviously want to keep going, but we’re satisfied with this and we’re glad that we can prove that we can be one of the final eight 5A teams.”
Fairview’s best sluggers swung for the fences as not one, and not two, but three Knights hit home runs off Broomfield pitching. JD Jones slammed two bombs, and Luke Silverman and Dillon Souvignier also got in the act.
“It was a big difference-maker in terms of the energy in our dugout,” senior catcher Jones said. “We started off the day a little flat, so the long balls really amped us up and the energy helped us win these two games today.”
Fairview’s offense got off to a hot start when, in the bottom of the first inning, Jones hit a three-run homer with no outs. The Eagles found a way to respond with RBIs from Devon De Vera and Aaron Brakel, as well as a balk and passed ball that brought another run home, in the top of the second.
The Eagles and Knights stayed locked at 3-3 until Broomfield’s Gavin Speirs stepped up to the plate in his next at-bat. He brought home his man with a smooth double to give the Eagles a 4-3 edge in the top of the third.
That lead didn’t last long.
Not to be outdone, Souvignier propelled a two-run bomb over the right field wall to give the Knights the 5-4 advantage heading into the fourth frame. They complemented that effort in that frame as, again, Jones and Silverman hit solo shots to put the Knights up 7-4 before Souvignier added to the 8-4 total in the fifth with a sac fly.
Then things really started to heat up in the top of the seventh. With one out and nothing to lose, Broomfield’s Camden Ross hustled from second base on a single from Cole LaCrue and beat out the throw at home. The Eagles put two men on at 8-5 before Fairview ended that run.
“I’m proud of the boys, proud of everyone who made this the best senior year that I could possibly have,” Broomfield’s senior shortstop De Vera said. “I think we’re looking solid (for the future) because we’ve been this far. Why not go farther next year?”
Earlier in the day, Fairview defeated Legacy by a 12-2 final to be able to play Broomfield for the later game. Clearly, the Knights’ bats stayed fiery from the first pitch to the last.
Legacy finished 13-7.
“We did it as a team. We went through some bad losses and we came back and we won. We did it as a team,” Legacy senior Macully Sehr said. Of next year’s team, he said, “They just got to know the feeling. It’s not great to go out like this. They just have to go as a team, win as a team and go by every pitch. Every at-bat, you have to focus.”
While Broomfield’s and Legacy’s seasons have come to an end, Fairview will move on to next Thursday’s first semifinal against Fort Collins for a 9:30 a.m. start at All-Star Park.
“The first game was awesome, obviously, being able to 10-run (mercy rule) Legacy saved us some pitches for Fin Daecher, who we were able to use in the second game,” Fairview coach David Castillo said. “On these doubleheaders, it’s really a grind on our players and everybody has to contribute.”