Smoky Hill’s AJ Hudson, left, is doused with water as he celebrates with teammates after his hit delivered a 6-5 Buffaloes Centennial League baseball win over Eaglecrest on June, 7, 2021, at Smoky Hill High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The Smoky Hill baseball team came up just short in a number of close contests throughout the regular season, but broke that trend in its finale Monday.

Junior AJ Hudson made sure that happened, as he drove in senior Kaelor Fogo with a base hit in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Buffaloes to a 6-5 victory over Centennial League rival Eaglecrest in a game filled with intensity and key moments.

Hudson capped a three-hit day with his 10th RBI of the season, joining Adian Henry, Joe McDermott and Jackson Van Luit with runs driven in for coach Eric Askew’s Smoky Hill team, which earned a split of the season series with the Raptors and finished 3-13.

Sophomore left-hander Julian Garza pitched three innings for the victory, ending the top of the seventh and eighth innings with big strikeouts — including winning an epic battle with Eaglecrest’s Nick Xavier with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth — to give his team a chance to win.

Coach Tory Humphrey’s Eaglecrest team jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a home run by senior Logan Levian, lost the lead and retook it again when junior Logan Glueckert tripled and scored on a sac fly by junior Jackson Bryant in the fifth, then had to rally with a run in the top of the seventh to tie it up.

Glueckert was again involved in that rally as he hit a ground rule double off Garza, then scored from third base when Garza fielded Xavier’s grounder and threw errantly to first base.

Eaglecrest (6-9, 5-9 in Centennial League) concludes its regular season Tuesday with a 4 p.m. contest at Vista PEAK, while Smoky Hill takes the field one more time on Friday against Rock Canyon with a Foundation Game that doesn’t count in the win-loss standings.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

Smoky Hill 6, Eaglecrest 5 (8 inn.)

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Eaglecrest  300 010 10 — 5    7  5

Smoky Hill  011 111 01 — 6  12  1

WP — Smoky Hill: Julian Garza (3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). LP — Eaglecrest: Adam Wilmore (1 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). Eaglecrest hitting: Logan Glueckert 2-5, 2B, 3B, 2 runs; Nick Xavier 2-4, 2B, RBI, run; Logan Levian 1-1, HR, 3 RBI, run. Smoky Hill hitting: AJ Hudson 3-5, 2B, RBI, 2 runs; Isaiah Seppelt 3-4, run; Adian Henry, Joe McDermott and Jackson Van Luit RBI