DENVER — Golden’s 35th straight victory on the baseball diamond against a Class 4A Jeffco League foe took awhile to get Thursday.

The Demons needed 11 innings to finally take a 7-3 road victory against a gutsy D’Evelyn squad that nearly ended Golden’s remarkable winning streak that dates back to the 2022 season.

“That is something I think that is in the back of all our minds,” Golden junior Luca Casali said of the Demons’ winning streak against 4A Jeffco teams. “During that game I was thinking, ‘We can’t lose our streak.’ We got to keep it going. I think it’s a big motivator for everyone.”

The Demons’ last loss to another 4A Jeffco team was more than two years ago. D’Evelyn defeated Golden 6-2 on April 8, 2022.

D’Evelyn (5-7 record) nearly repeated history giving Golden (10-1) everything it could handle in the game that went 3 hours and 20 minutes. The Jaguars got strong pitching from junior starter Jay Aurich, along with senior Hector Lein, who pitched 5 and 2/3 innings in relief.

“It was defintely a wake-up call for us,” Casali said of the extra-inning win. “We can’t come into games thinking it’s going to be easy. You have to come in throwing punches early. We can’t wait to the end like this.”

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

Golden took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th inning on a throwing error that scored senior Jacob Dehm. However, D’Evelyn answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning to keep things going.

D’Evelyn junior Joaquin Basquez doubled to lead off the inning. Sophomore pinch-runner Max Wine scored on a wild pitch to send things to the 11th inning.

The Demons finally got a pair of big hits for a 4-run top of the 11th inning to grab a 7-3 lead. After an error and hit-by-pitch, Casali delivered a monster 2-run double to take a 5-3 lead. After Dehm got hit-by-pitch, senior Kohei Shimada fittingly helped himself out with a 2-run single.

Shimada came in relief on the mound in the seventh inning after Golden starter Braeden McCarroll went 6 innings, giving up two runs on three hits.

“I felt good. I was prepared,” said Shimada, who gave up just one run and two hits over five innings in relief to pick up the win on the mound. “I’ve been going to the bullpen and not pitching. I wanted it. I wanted to pitch. It turned out good.”

Shimada had only made two pitching appearances this season, throwing just three innings.

“Kohei did a great job coming in keeping the situation contained,” Casali said of Shimada’s longest outing of the season. “To give up one run in the amount of time he was in there was pretty amazing. You don’t see someone come in relief like that and do that very often.”

Golden coach Jackie McBroom sent Shimada back out on the mound with the 4-run lead to start the bottom of the 11th.

Photo by Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Public Schools

“I was like, ‘Does he have enough gas?’,” McBroom said about putting Shimada back on the mound to finish the game. “He did great. He came in and did good.”

D’Evelyn did get two runners on with no outs, but a double-play hampered the Jaguars’ rally attempt. Golden freshman centerfield Dylan Paulson made a diving catch to end the game.

“That was more of a team win than any that we’ve had this year,” McBroom said of the Demons’ fifth straight win.

Golden has three non-league games left against Conifer, Alameda and Denver South before starting conference play. The Demons open 4A Jeffco League play at Green Mountain on April 20. Golden defeated the Rams 14-0 last week in a non-league game.

“We are strong defensively. We are strong on the mound,” McBroom said. “And sometimes we hit. We aren’t the team we were last year when we hit 35 home runs. We have to find new ways to score. We are still working on those things.”

D’Evelyn faces Evergreen and Wheat Ridge before diving into league play. The Jaguars host Pomona on April 20.