PBR Colorado Game of the Day 5-13-19: Longmont Defeats Wheat Ridge 11-9


Brad Cochi
Northern Colorado Senior Writer

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WHEAT RIDGE – Regional tournaments are scheduled for this weekend, and both Longmont and Wheat Ridge figure to play prominent roles in determining the Class 4A state tournament field.

 

The eight teams with the highest RPI scores among the 10 statewide league champions will host regionals. Wheat Ridge (16-6) won the Jeffco League title and Longmont (16-7) entered Monday’s game between the two teams sitting eighth overall in the RPI standings. But Wheat Ridge entered Monday at No. 12 in the RPI and unlikely to move up four spots, and Longmont finished runner-up to Silver Creek in the Northern League.

 

So despite their resumes, neither team figured to be hosting this weekend regardless how their head-to-head matchup at Everitt Middle School shook out. The game was still, however, an excellent tune for a pair of clubs heading into the postseason with high expectations.

 

“The score was what it was but both teams hit the ball pretty good,” Longmont head coach Tom Fobes said. “I thought we played pretty decently. We had a couple mistakes that we’ll try to get iron out. But it was a good game leading up to regionals. We got all our pitchers in there, got some innings and everybody should be ready to go.

 

“We’re going to be facing teams like this, hopefully, for a little while longer. So it was good to get them out there.”

 

With Longmont looking to get the top of its rotation lined up for regionals, and because Wheat Ridge had just thrown its Nos. 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday, the game was a chance for both teams’ backend arms to face quality lineups.

 

Longmont and Wheat Ridge sent a combined three sophomores to the bump in game and the most regularly-used pitcher to take the mound was Longmont 2021 Owen Kroeger, who entered the game in relief having pitched a respectable 30 2/3 innings to that point in the season.

 

The Trojans and Farmers combined to score seven runs in the first inning and after three lead changes, the game was tied 6-6 to start the sixth. The Trojans, aided by some sloppy Farmers defense, scored three runs on three hits in the sixth inning and added two more in the seventh that proved to be critical in surviving a three-run charge from the Farmers in the bottom of the inning.

 

“We played sloppy,” Farmers head coach Adam Miller said. “Defensively, we’ve been good all year. But we got the game to 6-6 and then we misplay a ball in left, misplay a ball in right, and let them little-league us on a rundown, and the next thing you know it’s 9-6.”

 

Longmont 2019 Brady Renck (Westmont College), who is sixth in 4A with a .568 batting average, went 2-for-4 at the plate. Longmont 2019’s Grant Rulon and Ryan James also had two hits in the game, while fellow 2019’s Chris Gumeson and Lathan Bunkers each drove in a pair of runs.

 

Wheat Ridge 2020 Ethan Sitzman, who is batting .415 on the season, went 3-for-4 with a double. 2020 Dominic Bronk doubled twice for his 13th and 14th extra-base hits of the season, and 2020 Kyle Radi recorded his second triple of the season.

 

Monday’s game was Longmont’s regular-season finale while Wheat Ridge has one game remaining, traveling to face Mountain View (13-9) in Loveland on Tuesday.  

 

Longmont 11, Wheat Ridge 9

At Everitt M.S.

 

Longmont (16-7) 402 003 2 – 11 12 3

Wheat Ridge (16-6) 320 010 3 – 9 10 1

W – Kroeger. L – A. Tate.

 

Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Renck 4-2-2-0, Rulon 4-2-2-1, Nowells 3-1-1-0, Gumeson 3-0-1-2, Benes 3-1-1-1, Deeter 3-1-1-1, James 3-1-2-1, Northouse 3-1-1-1, Lewis 0-1-0-0, Bunkers 4-0-1-2, Martinez 0-1-0-0, Kleiman 0-0-0-0, Kroeger 0-0-0-0, Ouweneel 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-11-12-9. 2B – Benes, Bunkers. SB – Rulon.  

 

Wheat Ridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Sitzman 5-2-3-1, Miller 4-0-1-1, Bronk 4-2-2-2, A. Tate 4-0-0-0, Radi 3-1-1-1, Arcilise 3-0-0-0, Kingman 3-1-1-0, R. Tate 3-1-1-0, Dewitz 2-1-1-0, Sawyer 0-1-0-0, Stahl 0-0-0-0, Bloomer 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-9-10-5. 2B – Bronk 2, Sitzman. 3B – Radi.

 

Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Ouweneel 1-4-3-2-1-0, Kleiman 2-2-2-1-2-0, Kroeger 3-2-1-1-2-0, Renck 1-2-3-2-1-1.

 

Wheat Ridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Kingman 0-5-4-4-0-0, A. Tate 6-4-5-4-5-5, Dewitz 1-3-2-2-0-0, Sawyer 0-0-0-0-0-0.