Club fares well in rebuilding year

Five Sailors make Western Slope All-Conference Team

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— In a rebuilding year for the Steamboat Springs baseball team, the Sailors delivered five players to the Western Slope All-Conference Team.

Joe Liefer made first-team honors, while teammates Tanner Barr, Jordy Gunderson, David May and Evan Wojtowicz received honorable-mention recognition.

Wojtowicz, who played shortstop, is the only one in the group graduating this year.

Gunderson, Barr and Liefer are juniors, while May is a freshman.

The Sailors lose only four players off their 25-man roster for next season.

Joss Vinson, who completed his first year as head coach, said the 2001 season was a great learning experience for his young ballclub.

"As far as record goes, a lot of the games were real close," Vinson said. "I think the goal of the season was not necessarily to win a whole bunch of games.

"They learned a lot and they learned how to actually play. We didn't killed by 20 runs like they did a lot in the past."

Steamboat won only two games this year before having its season conclude at a "pigtail" playoff game against Battle Mountain April 30.

During the regular season, Steamboat defeated Battle Mountain with local pitcher Preston Stanfill on the mound.

Steamboat's other win came against Moffat County, when May pitched the entire game to help lead the Sailors to a 6-5 victory.

"Our team this year was, in my mind, a real success," said Liefer, who was second base, catcher and shortstop. "We have many young people coming back next year that will have lots of experience."

Barr, who played right field, also was optimistic about the future.

"With hard work, we have a good chance of improving immensely next season," Barr said.

Vinson said the players chosen to the all-conference squad "were dedicated to improvement."

Gunderson, a junior, was a first baseman and pitcher.

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