There was no doubt who the best baseball team in the 3A Tri-Peaks League was after Saturday's crossover was finished at Palmer Ridge.
Lamar (15-4) played like the name across the front of its jerseys. The Savages were relentless in a 12-2 victory over The Classical Academy (14-5) in the championship game to earn the conference title and most likely host a district next weekend.
Lamar started its day with an 18-2 win over Manitou Springs in five innings, and then only needed five innings to dispatch of the Titans.
"I am really happy with how we're playing right now as the playoffs get ready to start," Lamar coach Dave Fassiotto said. "I've been harping on them quite a bit that it's time to really play ball, and they played pretty well today."
That was quite the understatement. Lamar outscored Manitou Springs and TCA 30-4 in its 10 innings of play Saturday.
TCA made several mistakes in the top of the first inning, which allowed seven Lamar runs to score. The Titans were sloppy on defense, making errors, and several wild pitches and passed balls led to an insurmountable deficit.
"In the first two innings we gave them a couple of extra outs, and you can't give a team that hits like Lamar does extra chances," TCA coach Justin Ross said. "On offense, we left a lot of runners on in those first two innings, so we could've been looking at a 5-4 game instead of what it was."
The Titans started their day with a dominating 10-0 win over St. Mary's to advance to the championship game. Peter Troupe led TCA in the first game, going 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Troupe was one of the bright spots in the Lamar game, going 2 for 3 with an RBI. He says his team won't sulk over the loss, and will be prepared for districts next weekend.
"I think the first game today against St. Mary's was more important to us because we at least wanted to get to the championship game," Troupe said.
"Lamar is a good team, and we didn't play horrible. We're frustrated, but it was good to play a team like Lamar and see where we stack up before playoffs."
After Lamar took a 7-0 in the top of the first, TCA stranded two runners in the bottom of the first, and left the bases loaded in the second. Lamar led 9-2 in the third inning when Payden Breneman struck another big blow with a three-run home run over the left field fence to make it a 10-run game.
"We struggled on offense early in the season, so it's nice to see it come together now," said Breneman, who also had a three-run homer against Manitou Springs earlier in the day. "Our goal is always to make it to state, but winning the conference championship was also important to us, so this is a nice confidence booster."