Every baseball team loses, but that doesn't mean the Northwest Colorado Lynx has to expect -- or accept -- it, coach Shane Camilletti said.
And perhaps the most important tool the Lynx coaches have given their 10-and-younger team is that regardless of the competition, baseball players from Northwest Colorado are capable of winning every time.
Thursday, the Lynx went 1-1 in the opening day of pool play in the Triple Crown Division I World Series, falling 13-11 to the Green Mountain Rams of Lakewood before defeating the Riverton Silverwolves of Riverton, Utah, 14-8.
The Rams are ranked 7th in the nation according to www.usasportsrankings.com.
The Lynx -- made up of young ballplayers from Steamboat, Yampa, Hayden, Craig and Meeker -- have had previous success at the Division 2 level in Colorado, but picking up a victory and coming close in another was an impressive first day of Division I action.
"This is huge," Camilletti said. "They've exceeded my expectations."
The team's success came despite relatively little practice time.
A core group of the Northwest Colorado team has been together since early summer, but three Steamboat players, Charles Wood, Isiah Forsyth and Alan Capistron, along with Alex Estes of Yampa, were added several weeks ago.
Craig's Louie Neil said all members of the team have practiced together once or twice, but all four newcomers have been a great addition.
"Baseball is easier now," Neil said. "We all want to win."
In Thursday's second game it didn't appear that way initially, as the Lynx surrendered five runs in the bottom of the first after scoring five in the top half.
The Silverwolves maintained their lead through two before Graig Medvesk's two-run single broke the tie, and then Forsyth's two-run triple with two outs gave the Lynx some cushion in the wind and rain.
"That was exciting," Forsyth said. "We kept our heads up and played well."
Camilletti said close games used to be a problem for the Lynx. Now, the team has confidence even when trailing, which was important Thursday.
"This summer has been a lot of fun," Ben Fulton of Hayden said. "We're getting a lot better. The coaches have told us 'don't lose confidence and try hard,' even if we're behind by a lot."
Pool play concludes for the Lynx today against the Tulsa (Okla.) Lookouts at Steamboat's Ski Town South Field.