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Baseball: Broomfield remains perfect with league opener win at Fossil Ridge

FORT COLLINS — Batting average doesn’t mean much to a Broomfield team with one of the best offenses in Colorado.

While hits are appreciated, the Eagles’ focus is instead on putting together quality at-bats, whether that means moving a runner over, taking a walk or sacrificing oneself for the greater good. That approach was on full display Tuesday as Broomfield needed just six innings to leave Fossil Ridge with a 16-5 mercy rule victory.

The defending Class 5A state champions are now 9-0 overall following its Front Range League opener.

“I don’t think the record means anything right now,” said Broomfield head coach Kale Gilmore. “We kind of thought today … ‘Hey, we’re 0-0.’ We know that the high school baseball season starts when our league starts. Our focus is trying to get better right now, stay hungry and not be complacent.”

Coming in averaging nearly 10 runs per game, Broomfield’s bats were as advertised in the early innings. The Eagles scored four runs on four hits in the first and followed that up with a second-inning six-spot to take a quick 10-0 lead. Dane Most, Brady Todd, Michael Cannata and Noah Scott each had RBI hits in the process.

Scott, who entered Tuesday with a 0.66 ERA through over 20 innings pitched, took the bump for Broomfield and held Fossil Ridge scoreless on just two hits in his four innings. The senior ace believed his strong pregame bullpen translated well to his fifth win of the year.

“It was actually the best bullpen I threw all year,” Scott said. “Everything was feeling good. I wanted to go dominate fastball a bunch and then work the slider off of it and just do what I could against them to try and get them to put the ball in play.”

At the plate, Scott went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs to help his own cause.

“He’s our best player and probably our hardest-working player,” Gilmore said of Scott. “When your hardest-working player is also your best player, I think you have something good. He competes all the time. He’s just a bulldog and he’s a great leader for our guys.”

Todd also found three hits, including a double and a triple, while Most and Tripp finished with two.

Defensively, second baseman Bailey Smith and his shortstop Todd were clean up the middle en route to an error-free afternoon for Broomfield.

Down 11-0 entering its half of the fifth inning, Fossil Ridge’s bottom of the lineup managed three hits and a walk against Eagles reliever Maverick Scarpella to spark a five-run rally and stave off the mercy rule. Broomfield, however, added another five runs in the sixth before Jacob Rice shut the door.

“We have confidence in all the guys in the dugout,” Gilmore said. “We feel good about whoever we throw out there. It’s been really good and a lot of quality at-bats for our guys today. You beat a team like that — that good — we’ll take it.”

Broomfield hosts 5-5 Northglenn next on Thursday.

“These are the games that really matter now,” Scott said. “We’re trying to get (an improved) RPI, get a good standing in the tournament and stay together as a team.”