GREELEY – As soon as the sun came, the runs came for the Eaton baseball team.

So did the powerhouse Reds baseball team, which has hardly been threatened the past three seasons en route to three consecutive Class 3A state titles.

After having to wait nearly 31 hours to resume its finals game against longtime rival University, Eaton chose to wait no longer, as it defeated the Bulldogs 13-3 in five innings Sunday night at Butch Butler Field.

The game was suspended Saturday morning because of a downpour, as University carried a 2-1 lead midway through the second inning.

When the teams finally stepped back on the field — after multiple other delays Sunday — the Reds proceeded to score eight runs in the bottom of the second to suddenly go up 9-2 and take full control of their championship destiny.

Eaton needed just more than an hour to complete the duration of the game and secure its state-record 14th state title in program history.

During their colossal, game-changing bottom of the second, the Reds sent 13 batters to the plate and connected on four big hits — three of which came on Sunday, after the delay.

Suffice it to say, Eaton was eager to get back on the field after the prolonged delay.

“The energy was building up a lot,” Reds senior Tate Smith said. “We knew we had them in a good spot, and we really didn’t like where they called the game (Saturday). It kind of put a chip on our shoulders. … It says a lot about the culture we have: ‘Come do this with your boys and get it done. We’re 28-0. But, let’s get one more, let’s dog pile and let’s go enjoy this one.'”

While University ended its second consecutive runner-up finish to Eaton with a 27-4 mark, the Reds completed their perfect season with a 29-0 mark. They have won 41 consecutive games, dating back to this past season.

Arguably, none of those wins were as meaningful as Eaton’s victory Sunday.

After the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out their freshman seasons in 2020, this year’s five seniors — Smith, Walker Martin, Ryder True, Kyran Begay and Walker Copeland — initiated this incredible three-year stretch as sophomores in ’21.

They weren’t going to be satisfied unless they ended this era the same way they began it — by celebrating a championship victory with a dog pile near the mound.

“It’s crazy; this is something we’ve always dreamt about since we were little kids,” said Martin, who led the country in home runs this season with a single-season school record of 20. “On the diamond, the courts, the gridirons — wherever it was, we wanted to get it done. … These are my boys forever.”

Martin was also the starting quarterback for an Eaton program that won its third consecutive 2A state football title this past fall with many of the same teammates he shared championship success with again on Sunday.

The Reds baseball team has gone 78-3 during this torrid three-year stretch.

In just the second at-bat after the game resumed Sunday, Eaton junior Joey Blaskowski (1-for-3) ignited the championship-seizing second-inning rally with a bases-clearing triple to put the Reds up 4-2.

While Blaskowski, Smith (2-for-3, two doubles, two RBI) and junior Lucas Stone (2-for-4, RBI) led Eaton offensively, there was little question who was the anchor for an air-tight Reds defense Sunday.

Thrust into a bit of an unusual relief appearance after Smith effectively started the game on the mound a day earlier, stifled only by the long delay, Reds junior Mitch Haythorn took over when play resumed and instantly brought the heat.

In his three innings, he allowed an aggressive University offense just one run on three hits, striking out five and walking one.

The Bulldogs never threatened after seeing their second-inning lead — and all the game’s momentum — promptly snatched away.

“Once we got on the bus (Saturday), everyone was frustrated with how the day was going,” Haythorn said. “Coach (Hernandez) turned up the radio on the bus and we had 15 seconds to cuss, yell, or do whatever. At that point, we were fired up to get to Sunday.”