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Baseball: Broomfield stays perfect while Legacy, Erie remain alive in state brackets

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In a state baseball tournament season detached from any true sense of order or calm, all three local teams — Broomfield, Legacy and Erie — survived a wild opening inside their respective double-elimination brackets and will play for a state championship next weekend as one of four teams remaining.

In simpler terms, “It only puts more baseball on the table,” Lightning shortstop Brandon Sanchez said. “I get to play more games with my brothers and best friends.”

All three mazes to state gold look different from here.

The fifth-seeded Eagles came out of the second day of the tournaments with the easiest remaining path. Their third straight victory in the Class 5A bracket placed them one win away from claiming their first state title in a decade.

With the tournament’s driver’s seat on the line Saturday at All-City Stadium in Denver, Gavin Speirs hit his third straight home run of the tournament and drove in a high school career-best eight runs, Dylan Harris added a grand slam and had five RBIs, and Broomfield beat No. 3 Chaparral, 20-10.

The latest win means whoever the Eagles meet June 4 will have to beat them twice to hoist a title. To do so, it’ll likely have to tame a red-hot offense that has scored 45 runs in three games, led by Mr. “.600” Camden Ross (whose season batting average will go down as one of the best in the state in recent memory) and the tournament’s home run king, Speirs.

“We’re just hot right now,” Ross said. “We’ve been playing good since the middle of the season. We started off a little rough but since that Boulder loss (April 14) we’ve been firing on all cylinders. Our offense is hot, we’re pitching pretty good. We just can’t seem to not put up 10.”

Then there’s the Lightning, who for long stretches this spring had been the best team in the state. The 5A No. 2 squad needs two more wins to see its Front Range League rival again, and two more after that for the ultimate prize.

Saturday at All-Star Park in Lakewood, Legacy bounced back from Friday’s opening-round loss to Cherokee Trail with a pair of wins, beating Vista Ridge (5-3) and Douglas County (10-3). Sanchez stole home in the opener and drove in two against the Huskies.

The Lightning will have a rematch against the Cougars June 3.

“We settled in and we played our game, that was the big difference,” Lightning coach Ty Giordano said. “Yesterday we came out and I think we were nervous. I think we played with — I wouldn’t necessarily call it fear — but I think we were a little bit timid and as a result of that we didn’t really play the way we are capable of playing. But today guys were more relaxed, much more focused.”

The Tigers, in the meantime, need three straight wins in the 4A competition — this, after the offense that had its way Friday was tamed on Day 2 in a 19-0 blowout loss to defending champion Ponderosa at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Erie beat No. 3 Golden and No. 2 D’Evelyn in its first two games, scoring a combined 17 runs. But a day later it had just four hits in a four-inning game in which the Mustangs racked up 18 hits and 11 first-inning runs.

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