Northwest Colorado coach Shane Camilletti found himself in an unfamiliar situation Wednesday: figuring out what to say to his boys after a loss.
Two weeks removed from winning the Division 2 state championship, the Lynx baseball team hoped to enter this week's Division 2 World Series full of confidence, with an eye on a possible title in the 11-and-under division.
The Northwest Colorado team, which is made up of players from Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Craig and Meeker, can still accomplish its ultimate goal, but everyone knows the team will have to improve on Wednesday's 11-0 loss to the Peninsula Waves.
"It's better to have a loss now than on Saturday," Camilletti said. "Four days is a lot of baseball. Usually the team that wins has a loss. We were lethargic, and they were a good team."
The Palos Verdes, Calif.-based baseball club is making its first World Series appearance, but showed no signs of nervousness in the Wednesday morning game. The Waves qualified for the World Series at a fall tournament in Barstow, Calif., and arrived in Steamboat earlier this week.
"This was our goal," coach Jim Carmack said. "We wanted to do one big summer tournament, and this is the one we wanted to do. All the parents came. This is our summer vacation."
Consider it off to a good start. Eight of Peninsula's base runners who scored reached home because of a walk, an error or a hit batter by a Northwest Colorado pitcher or fielder.
The Waves scored in all five innings but didn't pull away from the Lynx until the top of the fourth when the Southern California team rallied with two outs. Trent Gilbert reached first on a walk, and Chris Markulis was hit by a pitch. Both scored off Jack Campbell's single to push the score to 8-0.
Northwest Colorado is capable of scoring runs in bunches, but no one had much success against the slew of pitchers Peninsula threw at the home team Wednesday. Tyler Nash, Cole Trezak, Sam Moore and Ted Dilts combined to throw five innings of shutout baseball for the Waves, striking out seven while walking only one.
Graig Medvesk, Louie Neil, Ben Fulton and Isiah Forsyth had the only hits for the Lynx.
"We were hitting better toward the end," second baseman Trevor Matrisciano said.
While some teams thrive off their pitching and defense, Northwest Colorado operates on the opposite end of the spectrum.
"Our team lives on how we hit, and we didn't hit the ball (Wednesday)," Camilletti said.
In those rare situations in which the Lynx have lost, Camilletti said they have responded by playing much better in the next game. Ideally, Northwest Colorado would have had the opportunity to get right back on the field Wednesday, but the World Series format has every team playing one game a day until bracket play begins Saturday.
Northwest Colorado has the opportunity to notch its first win of this World Series at 9 a.m. today at Loudy Simpson Park in Craig. Wednesday's morning game didn't go so well. The Lynx have a chance to wake up a little earlier today, and Matrisciano said he expects the team will be ready to go because everyone in the Northwest Colorado dugout believes they belong in this tournament.
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