Steamboat spirits high despite loss

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— While it would seem difficult to pick a bright spot in a 13-0 loss, Steamboat coach Rick Coram congratulated his team for its defensive effort Saturday.

Coram, an assistant coach for Steamboat's 14-year-old traveling team, said his squad was a heavy underdog at this weekend's Triple Crown World Series.

"These are the best teams in the United States," Coram said. "The kids we are playing against have played 60 to 70 games this year.

"Most of them have only lost four or five games."

The majority of teams in the tournament play year-round baseball, Coram said.

More than 100 teams made it to the World Series in Steamboat, Craig, Oak Creek and Hayden this weekend, including teams from as far away as Texas and Florida.

Steamboat lost its final game to Columbia, Mo., at Simillion Field.

Coram told his team afterward he was proud of its defense.

What hurt them the most, he said, was their inability to get runners on base.

The local squad trailed 9-0 heading into the top of the fifth, before the Missouri team pounded out four more runs to seal the win.

Steamboat failed to match the four runs they gave up in the top of the fifth, which caused a stoppage a half-inning later.

If a team trails by 10 or more runs after five innings, a 10-run rule ends the game.

"We got outscored like 78-1 in this tournament, but I think it was fun because we got to see a lot of good teams," said Ryan Breeze, a third baseman and pitcher on the Steamboat team.

"We've seen pitchers that throw 90 mph," Breeze said.

Tucker Smalley and Nate Coram, who are members of the Steamboat squad, said the team never expected to make it very far in the World Series.

Steamboat entered the tournament with a 9-11 record and was not required to play in a Triple Crown qualifier.

The local team was invited to play as a host team because the tournament is being held in Steamboat.

Coram said the goal this summer has been trying to teach the players the basics of baseball.

"We're trying to (teach) them the fundamentals of baseball so when they get to high school they will be fundamentally sound," he said.

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