Little League team keeps hopes alive for state title

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Twice this week, the Steamboat Springs 14-and-under Little League team has trailed in a playoff game, and twice it has found a way to win.

Now the team, which includes players from all over Routt County, is just one game away from capturing its first state title.

"This team has a great chemistry," team manager Doug Wood said. "If one of our top hitters goes cold, someone else is always there to pick up the slack."

The Steamboat team earned the right to play in the state championship after winning the District 5 title July 13.

The squad opened the state tournament with a 7-5 win over Arapahoe on Sunday.

"It was a big win," Wood said. "We knew that was going to be a good team, but we found a way to win it."

The Steamboat team trailed 5-4 in the sixth inning. But it rallied to tie the score, and Nick Grant came up with a two-run homer to lift his team to victory in the final inning.

The team returned to the field Monday to face a rock-solid, Cortez-based Southwest Colorado team. In that game, Steamboat fell behind 6-2 before finding new life.

Wood said Jeff Truslow's sixth-inning double came just in time to spark a much-needed rally.

The game went two extra innings before Jake Stanford smacked a standup double that brought Grant home for the winning run.

"I'm a little surprised," Wood said. "I thought the pitching would be a lot tougher at this level. But our guys seem to be handling it and our pitching has been very solid."

Jordan Williams, from Hayden, got the complete game win in Monday night's contest against Cortez. Alex Wood pitched the opener and will return to the mound for Wednesday night's championship game, which is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Arapahoe Little League Complex in Aurora.

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

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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