Boys of summer return to action at area diamonds

Triple Crown will host youth baseball tournament this weekend in Steamboat

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— The distinctive clink of baseball bats will return to the Howelsen Hill ballfields this weekend as Triple Crown Sports hosts its first major tournament of the summer season in Steamboat Springs.

Slated to compete this weekend are teams in the 9-year-old and 14-year-old divisions.

Steamboat will play host to two straight weeks of youth baseball action. The first tournament will open at 8 a.m. Friday and continues through 8 p.m. Sunday. There are 56 teams expected to play in the tournament. There also will be a girls fastpitch softball tournament held at the same time.

"This is one of our most popular tournaments," Triple Crown's Sean Hardy said.

A Triple Crown baseball camp will run June 18 to 22. That camp, which will feature eight college coaches, will be open to players between 8 and 18. Triple Crown is offering local players a special deal on the camp, allowing them to sign up to take part for $125 for all four days of the camp.

The second week of tournament action will pick up on June 23, with classes from 10 to 18 years of age coming to play. More than 109 teams are expected to take part in that event.

"Steamboat is just a great place," Hardy said. "Teams want to come here for vacation and if they can play a little baseball then that's even better."

Both of the tournaments will offer berths to the Triple Crown World Series, which will be held later this summer. The top three teams in each division, with the exception of Division II teams, will be eligible to return to Steamboat for the World Series which will be July 27 through 30 and Aug. 3 through 6.

Hardy said Triple Crown first held a baseball tournament in Steamboat in the summer of 1992. The organization then made Steamboat a regular stop in 1995.

Tournaments will open play on Friday on fields in Steamboat, Craig, Hayden and Oak Creek.

Steamboat has a 14-year-old team slated to compete in this weekend's tournament in Division II action.

The local team will take the field at 8:30 a.m. on Friday in Oak Creek. The squad will also play at 1 p.m. in Oak Creek that same day.

The team will play its only game of the tournament in Steamboat at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on Klumker. The local team's final pool-play game of the tournament will come at 8 a.m. Sunday in Oak Creek. If the team advances to the playoffs, they will play again at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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

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