Steamboat Springs Going into the final sixth inning of Thursday's deciding game of the District 3 Little League Championships in Breckenridge, the situation looked grim for the Steamboat all-star team of 9- and 10-year-olds. After trailing the entire game, down 7-3 against Eagle-Vail, a team they had traded games with over the tournament, coach Stace Toye said "the nine-year-olds came up huge," ensuring that the ride back was not plagued with regrets of what could have been.
First Jesse Pugh got a single.
Then Daniel Lapointe got a single.
Cutter Pasternak followed Koby Bishop's second double of the game with a double of his own.
With the game tied at seven and Pasternak at second, Charles Toye came to bat. Although Toye already had a single and RBI, Pasternak took the pressure off him by first stealing third, and then on a passed ball, stealing home for the win.
Toye was still elated hours after the victory, recalling Pasternak's slide into home for the 8-7 victory.
"Cutter's got some moxie," Toye said. "That, my friend, is a little league moment, a positive memory that they'll never forget."
Toye also credited his team's pitching efforts. Pasternak started, he said, and was relieved by Connor O'Brien for the middle three innings, followed by Kayden Peterson, who came in to pitch in the sixth and won the game.
As winners of District 3, Steamboat earns the right to travel to Grand Junction for the weekend of July 22nd and 23rd to play the other three Colorado Little League minors district champions to determine an overall state champion.
For now, Toye said he was pleased to return from a rainy tournament with a championship banner to hang at their Emerald Park home field at their next Sunday practice.