Montrose gets upset by Eagles in baseball
AURORA — Despite Bryce Gaber sparking a late rally, second-seeded Montrose could not avoid an early-round upset.
The Indians fell 9-2 to seventh-seeded Broomfield on Friday in the first round of the Class 4A baseball championship series. Gaber’s single in the fourth inning at Cherokee Trail gave the Southwestern League champions a momentary glimmer of hope.
The starting pitcher’s single to right led to the Indians’ only two runs of the game.
“We did not come out swinging our bats right away like we needed to, and they jumped up on us,” Gaber said.
The early falter against Broomfield (18-5) stung the Indians’ (19-3) morale, but they’re still have a chance at the title in the double-elimination format.
Montrose faces third-seeded Skyline (15-7) at All-Star Park in today’s first round of the playback brackets.
The Falcons were shelled 14-8 by No. 6 Rock Canyon (18-5) in their first game. The Jaguars went on to beat Broomfield 6-4 to remain undefeated in the championship series.
Montrose’s usually potent offense ran into one big problem Friday — Erik Lockwood.
Broomfield’s left-handed ace dominated the Indians’ lineup, recording 12 strikeouts. The University of the Pacific-bound pitcher set the tone early, allowing one hit in the first three innings.
“There are a couple of left-handers in our league,” said Indians’ shortstop Nathan Robertson, who went 1 for 3. “But he is the best we’ve seen.”
Gaber’s RBI shook Montrose’s offense out of its stupor, with Jordan Passehl driving in the team’s second run two outs later.
The Indians built off the middle-inning momentum, coming up with hits in the final three innings, two of them the team’s biggest. Doubles by Roland McLaren in the sixth and Nick Brennan in the seventh, though, did not receive any support.
Both batters ended up stranded in scoring position.
“We couldn’t string anything together,” Montrose coach Landon Wareham said. “(Lockwood’s) stuff is as good as anything we’ve seen.”
Broomfield did most of its damage in the second and third innings, scoring seven runs on six hits. But the Eagles had some pop left in their bats when the Indians showed signs of life.
Broomfield finished its scoring with outfielder Dan Geubelle hitting a two-run home run to left in the fifth inning.
“This just shows that we’ve got to come and play our game and not take anything for granted,” Robertson said. “We’ve got to do better than today.”
In the semifinals at Englewood High School, Paonia fell 7-0 to Resurrection Christian.
The Eagles had a hard time getting a timely hit off Cougars pitcher Lucas Carls, who held Paonia to two hits in the game.
“He threw hard,” Paonia coach Andi Braslin said. “We were hitting him hard, but it was just right at people.”
The Cougars chased Eagles starting pitcher Casey Gillenwater in the third inning when an error sparked a five-run inning that allowed Resurrection Christian to take the 7-0 lead.
Paonia shut out the Cougars for the final four innings but couldn’t string any base hits together.
“Our guys buckled down,” Braslin said. “But we couldn’t get that timely hit.”
The trip to the final four is a big accomplishment for a Paonia team with only two upperclassmen on the roster.
“The kids were down because they lost, but they know they accomplished something,” Braslin said. “We now have this under our belt for next year.”
Olathe had one bad inning that ultimately led to a 5-3 loss to Florence.
At Butch Butler Field in Greeley, the Pirates gave up four walks and an error in the fourth inning that led to four Florence runs.
“This time of year if you make mistakes, they’ll hurt you,” Olathe coach Joe Archuleta said.
Olathe held a 2-0 early lead before giving up the four runs.
The Pirates scored in the first inning when Zach Stansberry singled to score Colby Corey.
The Pirates added another run in the second inning on Willy Corey’s RBI single.
The Pirates play at 11 this morning against Legend at Colorado School of Mines in Golden in an elimination game.