Boys at heart

Baseball league offers adults chance to play kids' game

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With three wins in two weeks, Nerney's Golden Oldies have set the pace in the Yampa Valley Adult Baseball League.

But it's still early.

"We beat them with age and cunning," Golden Oldies' captain Kevin Nerney said. "We've got a lot of good veteran players on our team. It really helps."

Nerney hopes his team can maintain its early success through the course of the season -- even as other teams set their sights on beating the league leader.

"They're definitely the team to beat right now," league organizer Tommy Larson said. "But we still have a lot of baseball left to play."

The three-team league opened play June 1.

Games will continue every Sunday (with the exception of July 6) through Aug. 17. The championship game is scheduled for Aug. 22 at Vanatta Field.

"This is one of the best turnouts we've ever had," Larson said.

The league consists of three, 15-person teams. Larson said having 15 players on a team reduces problems during the course of the season.

"With 15 players, you don't have to worry about not having enough players to field a team," Larson said. "It means less headaches down the line."

Larson said the new faces have helped to improve the quality of the teams in the league.

Nerney said he hasn't minded the reduction to three teams from last season's four teams.

"It lets us old guys make more substitutions," Nerney said. "We can't make those doubleheaders anymore."

Larson said it has also allowed the league to even out the talent in the league.

"Every team has at least one pitcher who played after high school at some level," Larson said.

But while the pitching has been good during the first couple of weeks, Larson said it's the hitting in the league that has really surprised many of the veterans.

"Normally it's the pitching that dominates play the first couple of weeks," Larson said. "The pitching has been good this season, but the guys are really hitting the ball right now."

During the first week of play, Nerney's Golden Oldies downed Schaller's Chocolate Labs, 10-5.

The Labs rebounded in the second game, topping Tilton's Blue Wave in a tight 7-6 game.

The Golden Oldies picked up two wins in last week's action.

The Oldies topped the Labs 5-3 in the first game and then Tilton's Blue Wave in the second game, 12-4.

Play will continue Sunday when Tilton's Blue Wave plays Schaller's Chocolate Labs in the 6 p.m. game. The 8 p.m. game will pit the Blue Wave against Nerney's Golden Oldies.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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