Broomfield beats city rival Legacy in instant-classic to claim program’s first Class 5A title

Get the mayor of the City and County of Broomfield out to All-City Stadium, and give every player a key.

The city’s two powerhouse public high schools, Broomfield and Legacy, turned in an instant classic in the Class 5A state title game on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles walked away with their first 5A crown, and sixth overall, in a 7-6 victory that see-sawed until the final out.

“That was a heck of a baseball game,” Eagles manager Kale Gilmore said. “You knew (the Lightning) weren’t going to quit, they had come from behind several times this tournament, and our guys have the same kind of guts. We knew we had to keep scoring.”

The Eagles averaged 12 runs over five state tournament games, and their bats came through again Saturday. Senior catcher Camden Ross, a Wabash Valley commit, set the tone with a three-run home run in the first inning. Ross screamed and beat his chest as he rounded third base and kept hollering well into the dugout.

Gilmore called Ross the “heart and soul of our group.” The catcher’s teammates yelled out “Powerade player of the century!!” as they mobbed him postgame, a reference to Ross losing out on the state’s Gatorade player of the year award to Regis Jesuit shortstop Dallas Macias.

“The kid from Regis Jesuit who won the award is certainly a heck of a ballplayer, but I don’t know if there’s a better baseball player in Colorado than Camden,” Gilmore said.

The Lightning scrapped a run across in the second inning. In the third, Blake Roberts had an RBI groundout and fellow senior Clayton Shuck followed with an run-scoring single to tie the game 3-3.

Legacy took the lead in the fourth. Junior Brandon Sanchez’s RBI single made it 4-3, then senior Kieran Gaffney’s RBI infield single made it a two-run game. The Lightning would give two runs back in the fifth, off a passed ball and an error, as Broomfield tied the game 5-5. Then senior Braden Hollis’ RBI infield single re-gave Legacy the lead, 6-5 in the fifth.

But the final breaks went Broomfield’s way to give Gilmore a title in his first year as the Eagles’ head coach. Prior to this year, the 1990 Broomfield graduate was an assistant for longtime coach Garren Estes, who retired.

Broomfield’s first title came in 1963, in Class A, and the Eagles also won back-to-back Class 2A titles in 1966 and ’67, and Class 4A titles in 2006 and ’12. But Ross said raising the 5A trophy felt a little sweeter. After Legacy elected to intentionally walk the slugger in the sixth, senior Gavin Speirs’ two-out, two-run single put Broomfield ahead for good, 7-6.

“To be the first one to do it in 5A, in a storied program, it’s a dream come true,” Ross said. “Once I hit the homer in the first, just like I did when we played them earlier this season (a 5-2 Broomfield win on May 3), I had a good feeling about this game.”

Legacy nearly tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, but Broomfield recorded the final out on a chopper to the shortstop that resulted in a bang-bang play at first base. The call nullified the tying run that was simultaneously coming across the plate.

Lightning coach Ty Giordano thought the call should’ve been safe at first base, guaranteeing at worse extra innings and setting Legacy up at a chance at a walk-off. But he said the call is “not what cost us the game.”

“There’s different things that happened throughout that game that would’ve brought a different ending,” Giordano said. “Credit to Kale and Broomfield, they’ve had a great run and went on a great run… We were right there. Our team was so resilient.”

Legacy, the Front Range League champion, finished 27-4. Broomfield finished 21-9.

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