Soroco prepares to hit the field

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— The Soroco Rams baseball team has a few weeks of practice batting, digging grounders and catching flies on a plowed pavement field under its belts. The team hopes to see a snow-cleared field for the first time Tuesday at its first game of the year in Craig against Steamboat Springs.

This year, Rams coach Steve Longwell has 14 players out for the team. But like most of the boys sports in south Routt this year, he is long on youth and short on experience.

Longwell lost all of his starting nine in 2000 who produced a 5-1 conference record. Most significantly, his most promising pitcher last year, Perry Means, moved out of state. Also, he has no seniors on the team.

Longwell does have Perry's younger brother, Casey, who lettered last year. He also has Willie Spicer, who saw playing time in 2000, too.

"Those guys will to the majority of the pitching for us," Longwell said.

Soroco plays in a league with Grand Valley, Debeque and Ridgeway, which is south of Montrose, and the team is scheduled to play 15 games.

Against Steamboat on Tuesday, if weather conditions allow the game, Longwell said the Rams will focus more on offense than defense, because the guys haven't had a real chance to field some ball off dirt or see live hits.

The game is at 4 p.m. at Moffat County High School in Craig.

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