World Series draws nation's top youth teams

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The boys of summer arrived last weekend in force as the Triple Crown World Series took center stage on just about every local baseball field.

"It was one or our best weekends we have ever had," organizer Sean Hardy said. "The tournament ran smoothly,"

After four days of play in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Craig, the field of 127 youth teams was whittled down to just five national champions.

In the 9-and-under division, the Texas Stingrays topped the Wheat Ridge Cubs to earn the title. A Highland's Ranch team, Yard Black, earned third.

In the 12-year-old division, it was the Houston Force taking top honors. That team defeated the Woodland Bulls, also from Texas, in the title game. Team USA, of Colorado, came in third in that division.

The Utah Batzz won the 14-year-old title after knocking of the Cuyahoga Falls Thunder in the championship. The Michigan Wolves came in third.

The top team in the nation in the 15-year-old division is the Klein Cats of Texas. That team defeated Utah's B.B. Academy in the finals. The Texas Cougars came in third.

The oldest division in the opening week of play was won by the Austin Slam. The Slam ousted another Texas team, the Rattlers, to win the 16-and-under division. The Mustangs were in third.

"We didn't have any repeat champions," Hardy said. "All of our national champs were firsttime winners."

The Summer World Series will come to a close this weekend with the final session of baseball. One hundred and ten teams are scheduled to play in the tournament. All of the teams are guaranteed a to play at least four games. The single-elimination tournament will open on Saturday evening and Sunday.

Steamboat's 12-and-under team didn't win a game last weekend.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@amigo.net

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