5A State Championship Wrap-Up




By Neil Devlin
Senior Writer
Denver Metro Area

All is well in big-school baseball.

The premier program in the era has hold of the title, it won in a different fashion and its legacy continues to evolve.

In a title game that began on Saturday and ended on Sunday, Rocky Mountain built an early lead, upped its bulge in the final inning, then weathered a late move by Broomfield to win 9-5 in the Class 5A Championship Series at All-City Field to officially cap the 2016-17 school sports year.

The Lobos finished 20-6. But it doesn’t tell the full story. They began the season, as they usually do, in a very demanding out-of-state tournament where they were 0-4 and outscored by an aggregate 35-8.

No problem. It’s the way coach Scott Bullock wants it. All Rocky Mountain did was win 19 of its next 20 games, take another Front Range League title and win its sixth championship since 2007 (it was runner-up twice along the way).

The best team of our current time still resides in Fort Collins ... and it never gets old winning.

“No. absolutely not,” Bullock said. “It just takes a bunch of good kids and good families buying in. The coaching staff, everyone … it has been a great program.”

Winning pitcher and player-of-the-year candidate John Sorensen, soon headed to Kansas State and summer ball, concurred.

“It feels awesome,” he said. “You come here thinking you’re going to win some state championships, but the reality is we work really hard.”

Sorensen mentioned “the bullpens and extra hacks we take,” and it’s hard to argue with the results. The Lobos are 193-54 over a decade.

Bullock agreed that his team has won championships in various ways, from blowouts to nail-biters, and this one certainly qualified as an entry. For some reason, it started on Saturday, after Broomfield outlasted Cherry Creek 2-1 in an earlier game. However, the conditions were awful with wind, rain, cold and gloom, yet the Lobos sent four batters to plate against Broomfield starter Blake Rohm and it produced a 2-0 lead on two singles, a wild pitch, a stolen base and two passed balls.

Eagles catcher Mason Speirs dropped four consecutive pitches and it had nothing to do with ability. The rain and mud made it impossible and Rohm had issues on the mound. “I’ve thrown to him for years,” Rohm said on Sunday. “He’s a great catcher.”

Spencer Gendreau was the first batter of the day on Sunday and he drilled a double to give Rocky a 3-0 lead upon resumption.

It stayed that way into the seventh inning because Sorensen was masterful and the Lobos defense perhaps even better. Sorensen said he was able to keep his pitches down and it worked – he had nine ground-ball outs through five innings and the Rocky defense, headed by shortstop Kalen Hammer, made all of the plays.

The Lobos tacked on a six-spot in the seventh off two Eagles relievers and it was a good thing as Broomfield came alive for five runs in the bottom half to mak the Lobos and their followers somewhat jittery.

“I think it shows what kind of offensive team (the Eagles) are and how good John was over the first six innings,” Bullock said.

Indeed, Sorensen permitted just two hits and waked none.

Broomfield finished 20-7 and also finished runner-up to the Lobos in the Front Range League, going 1-2 against them in the regular season and playoffs. There were no excuses. Carried by right-handers James Notary and Rohm, the Eagles had their chances.

“A great year,” Notary said afterward. Rohm said he got the losing a prep state championship out of the way to set up an NCAA Championship (at Virginia). Notary will be headed to TCU.

All told, six Lobos had RBIs, and Tyler Hyland and Jadon Uhrich each had two of the team’s nine hits, both of Uhrich’s being doubles.

So, yes, all is well in big-school baseball.

Rocky Mountain, with titles from 2007-09 and in 2010, 2014 and 2017, owns the diamond … again.

 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN 9, BROOMFIELD 5

Rocky Mountain 300 00 6 – 9 9 0

Broomfield 000 000 5 – 5 7 2

Rocky Mountain – Hyland cf 3-2-2-0, Hammer ss 5-0-1-1, Sorensen p 4-0-1-1, Heinze cr 0-2-0-0, Uhrich c 3-2-2-1, Gendreau 1b 3-1-1-1, Wagner  3b 3-1-0-1, Medrano rf 3-1-1-2, Nelson ph 1-0-0-0, Morris lf 2-0-1-0, Mata-Lloyd 2b 3-0-0-0, Maciel ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 31-9-9-7.

Broomfield -- Cox lf 3-0-0-1, Van De Pol rf 4-0-1-0, Garner 3b 3-1-1-0, Turner 1b 3-1-1-0, Speirs c 2-0-0-0, Overman cr 0-1-0-0, Morales cf-rf 3-1-1-3, Peterson ss 3-1-1-1, Notary 2b 3-0-1-0, Macosko dh 3-0-1-0, Rohm p-cf 0-0-0-0, Deignhart p 0-0-0-0, Martinez p 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-5-7-5.

E – Morales, Speirs. LOB – Rocky Mountain 9, Broomfield 3. DP – Broomfield. SB – Heinze. 2B – Uhrich 2, Morales,

Batteries – Sorensen and Uhrich; Rohm, Deignhart (7), Martinez (7) and Speirs. W – Sorensen. L – Rohm. SF – Cox. HBP – Morris (by Rohm), Hyland (by Martinez). WP – Rohm, Deignhart. PB – Speirs 3. T – Over 2 days.