Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs' lone representative in this weekend's Triple Crown adult slow-pitch softball tournament came away with two victories on Friday.
The Pioneer Dawgs defeated the Tap Out SBC team from Lakewood 11-10 in their second game, proving even men can have a flair for the dramatic.
Heading into their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh, the Dawgs trailed Tap Out by six runs, and plate appearances in the middle innings suggested Pioneer would have a rough go trying to tie the game, let alone win it.
With the leadoff hitter Paul Knowles due up in the seventh, the team rallied in the dugout, concentrating on making sure he would have multiple at-bats in the inning.
Knowles stepped into the box and promptly singled. The next nine batters followed suit, reaching base, bringing Knowles back into the box with bases loaded and one out after Scottie Amaral was thrown out at home on a rapid-fire outfield relay from SBC.
All Knowles needed was a base hit or even a sacrifice fly to lift his team to the win, but he had to be careful not to hit the softball out of the small Ski Town diamond, causing an out.
No problem. Knowles placed the ball perfectly into deep left-center field.
SBC's outfielder knew the outcome of the game was decided and didn't even bother to chase it down to catch it.
Sean Hicks crossed the plate as the winning run, capping off a seven-run inning.
"We'll take it," Knowles said. "It's one of those deals. We're just happy to be here."
Teams from Steamboat, regardless of the age level, haven't had much success in Triple Crown tournaments. The Dawgs are hoping to reverse some of that fortune after picking up two victories Friday.
The first contest against the Coors Light/Cloud 9 team from Cheyenne, Wyo., proved to be much easier than the second, as Pioneer won 21-8.
Unlike the first game, the offense was pretty consistent throughout the contest, though Howdie Cartan admitted the first pitch wasn't at the best time 9:40 a.m.
"We aren't morning people," he said.
Good news for the Dawgs is that their first game isn't until 12:25 p.m. today in Oak Creek. The bad news is that competition doesn't get any easier from here on out in the double-elimination tournament.
In addition, pitcher Jimmy Fader suffered a broken nose midway through the second contest when the ball took a nasty hop off one of the mounds on the diamond and struck him in the face.
"One of the hazards," he said, shaking his head.
Win or lose, the Dawgs will return to Steamboat for their second game. Should they win, they play at 6:55 p.m. on Vanatia at Howelsen. If they lose, they play at 3:40 p.m. on the Ski Town South field.