COLORADO SPRINGS — When Golden baseball last graced the Class 4A state tournament, in the spring of 2022, it bowed out quickly and felt the sting of what was otherwise a strong season.

The fourth-seeded Demons didn’t want to feel that way again, and they’ve been playing like it through this postseason over the past couple of weeks. On Friday afternoon at UCHealth Park, with their backs against the wall in the final game of the 4A state consolation bracket, they pulled out all the stops to defeat No. 1 Holy Family 4-1 to seal their spot in the championship game on Saturday.

They’ll face off with No. 6 Severance at 10 a.m. at UCHealth Park, home of the Rocky Mountain Vibes, for 4A state glory.

Friday’s victory avenged an earlier loss to the Tigers, who originally sent them into the consolation bracket with an 8-5 setback last week.

“For us, it didn’t start last week. It started last year,” head coach Jackie McBroom said. “We made it to the Great 8 last year with one of the top teams in the state. We showed up to state and went 0-2, so they’ve used that as motivation all season. That was just a bump in the road last week.”

Senior pitcher Noah Wicks served as the beating heart in the Demons victory, as he held the Tigers to one earned run and nine strikeouts through his seven innings on the mound. In the top of the third, his double to right field helped ignite a small scoring streak. Two batters later, he scored on a base hit from Braeden McCarroll to eventually put his team up 3-0 before the frame ended.

The Demons scored again on an error in the top of the sixth, when Holy Family’s pitcher and first baseman miscommunicated on a pickoff attempt at first base. That allowed McCarroll to net one more run for his team.
Holy Family could only watch as Wicks and his defense shut it down at nearly every turn. That’s just the kind of leader he is.

“I just wanted to come in and try my best to be a leader, pick everyone up,” Wicks said. “If someone’s down, I’ll always say, ‘Hey, you’re good. You got it the next pitch, next day, next ball.’ I was just coming in trying to cheer people up.”

This is the first state championship game appearance for the Demons since the 2003 season. That year, they didn’t just reach the title game but came away as the 4A state champions with a 6-3 win over Mountain View.