State baseball preview: Three local teams ready for respective state tournaments
May 25—After months of battling the weather and tough competition, the final eight teams have been set in Class 3A, 4A and 5A baseball. Of those 24 remaining squads, all of whom won their regional tournaments, three hail from Broomfield and Lafayette.
The double-elimination tournaments begin at various locations on Friday. All teams that win in the first round will play again on Friday afternoon. All those that lose will have to wait until Saturday to see if their run ends then and there.
Here's what to expect from Broomfield in 5A, Holy Family in 4A and Peak to Peak in 3A.
Broomfield Eagles — Class 5A
A year after claiming its sixth state championship, Broomfield is back in the mix with the top seed in the Class 5A bracket, and deservedly so. Through 25 regular and postseason games this year, the Eagles lost just one contest, a 3-2 stunner to Fairview, but have maintained a dominant presence otherwise.
They've put together quite the impressive resume, and have the talent to back it up. Just look at senior Noah Scott. When the senior pitcher isn't pacing the Eagles from the mound with a jaw-dropping 0.94 ERA through 13 appearances, he's one of the leaders at the plate, too.
Scott, who has thrown 59.1 innings, leads the pitching staff in nearly every statistical category. He's struck out 63 batters, walked 10 and given up just eight earned runs and 13 runs total. From the batter's box, he's hitting .462 and has secured 27 RBIs, 37 hits and 23 runs. The only other Eagle to outperform him at the plate — senior Luke Blackmon — is batting .483 while nabbing 31 RBIs, 28 hits and 22 runs.
For the first round of the 5A tournament, Broomfield will face off with No. 25 Cherokee Trail, which enters the state tournament with a 14-11 record. The Cougars won their bid by upsetting not one, but two higher seeds in No. 8 Legend and No. 9 Pine Creek in the 5A Region 8 tournament, both by tight scores.
The Cougars don't house any batters averaging over .375, and that honor rests on Akoi Burton, who's also added 13 RBIs, 24 hits and 16 runs to his stat sheet. Carter Wilcox leads the team from the mound with a 3.75 ERA, 61 strikeouts, 12 walks and 25 earned runs through 46.2 innings.
Should the Eagles defeat Cherokee Trail in the first round, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Gold Crown All-Star Park in Lakewood on Friday, they'll play the winner of No. 5 Rock Canyon and No. 13 Mountain Vista at 2:30 p.m.
Holy Family Tigers — Class 4A
Much like Broomfield, Holy Family played its own way to the top of Class 4A with the No. 1 seed for the final tournament.
Unlike the Eagles, however, the Tigers have put together quite the turnaround from their 13-10 2022 season. This year, Holy Family boasts a 21-2 record after suffering both setbacks early on with a 2-1 heartbreaker to Palisade and a 5-1 loss to Regis Jesuit.
Since then, they've played white-hot, winning 19 straight contests.
A lot of that success can be attributed to their leading man, senior pitcher Jacob Syverson, who has been a monster on the mound. Through 11 appearances and 56.1 innings, he's knocked out 106 batters while only allowing five runs and 19 walks.
Next to the plate, the Tigers have enjoyed max production from senior first baseman Jayden Watts (.449 batting average, 29 RBIs, 31 hits and 28 runs) and junior infielder Cole Kuszak (.365, 25 RBIs, 27 hits and 23 runs) to pace an offense that has scored 207 runs this spring.
The Tigers will begin their state title push against No. 9 Lutheran on Friday morning at Cheyenne Mountain High School. The Lions ended their regional tournament with a season-long 15-9-1 record, two losses of which weren't pretty. They fell 8-1 to Fruita Monument in their season opener before suffering an 11-4 fate at the hands of Chatfield a few weeks later.
While Lutheran houses a core of pitchers with Asher Clark (40 innings, 34 strikeouts, 33 walks and 30 earned runs), Alex Chumrau (39.2 innings, 30 strikeouts, 36 walks and 32 earned runs) and Eli Morgan (31.1 innings, 45 strikeouts, 21 walks and 17 earned runs), none of their numbers come anywhere close to the production the Tigers have seen from the mound.
Morgan stands out on Lutheran's lineup at the plate, having averaged .463 while raking in 45 RBIs, 38 hits and 39 runs.
If the Tigers can beat the Lions in their 9:30 a.m. meeting at CMHS on Friday, they get to take on the winner of No. 4 Golden and No. 12 Summit for the 2:30 p.m. matinee that day.
Peak to Peak — Class 3A
After squeaking its way past No. 8 Resurrection Christian and No. 9 The Academy in the Class 3A Region 8 tournament — both contests of which ended with one-run decisions — Peak to Peak found a way to extend its season for a little bit longer as a 25 seed.
The 12-13 Pumas, however, have perhaps the toughest task ahead of them out of any of the remaining Class 3A squads. They'll have to battle with top-seeded Eaton, which hasn't lost a single game all year, at 9 a.m. on Greeley's Butch Butler Field on Friday.
Throughout the season, the Pumas have relied on their two best batsmen, freshman Dane Hirt and senior Brady Bowman. Hirt took the lead at the plate with a .427 batting average, 25 RBIs, 32 hits and 30 runs. Bowman, who sits at a .392 average, has raked in 31 RBIs, 29 hits and 24 runs. Sophomore A.J. Greene has led them in pitching with a 3.26 ERA through 49.1 innings and 53 strikeouts, 47 walks and 23 earned runs.
Eaton, on the other hand, boasts an explosive offense that has scored 355 runs and a pitching staff that has only given up 31 runs.
If the Pumas can pull off the upset, they'll play the winner of No. 4 Coal Ridge and No. 5 Montezuma-Cortez at 2 p.m. on Friday. If not, they'll enter the consolation bracket at 9 a.m. on Saturday on the same field.