11-and-under team champs | SteamboatToday.com

11-and-under team champs

Behind a strong pitching performance by Zac Engle, the Steamboat Springs 11-and-under baseball team secured the District 3 Little League title Sunday at Emerald Park.

Engle struck out eight batters in five innings of play as the Steamboat team rolled to a 15-1 victory against Grand County in the championship contest.

“Most of these players started practicing in a gym back in March,” coach Harvey Lyon said. ‘They’ve played in the snow and rain of early spring and have taken advantage of the opportunities afforded by Triple Crown. They are developing into a mature, disciplined, cohesive young ball club with a very bright future.”

Lyon credited solid hitting and nearly perfect defense for the team’s success in the tournament.

The coach said Charlie Von Thaden was nearly perfect at shortstop, making great stops and throwing out six base runners during Sunday’s game.

On the other side of the diamond, Eric Spahr was also strong, knocking down three hard shots and making throws that kept the runners off base.

Infeilders Richard Gonzales and Sean Seams, as well as outfielders Colton Mahanna and Evan Hornstein also played well.

Michael Yost made a spectacular inning-ending catch in right field to end one of Grand County’s biggest threats in the game. The play stranded three Grand County base runners.

On offense, Tommy Lyon reached base five out of five times and scored four runs in the game, and Seams crushed a double to right field that scored three runners.

Steamboat will advance to the state tournament, where they are scheduled to open against the winners of District 5 on July 23.

— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com