Sailors run into rough waters

Steamboat falls to Eagle Valley, 26-8

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— Ah, the perils of spring baseball on the Western Slope.

Postponement after postponement put the Steamboat Springs High School baseball team in a precarious situation heading into Tuesday's game against Eagle Valley.

Short on pitching, Steamboat hung tough for a while before falling, 26-8.

Despite roping 11 hits in 26 at-bats, Steamboat had to go to several young pitchers, who hadn't seen a lot of varsity time.

"We hit the ball very hard all day," Steamboat manager Dave Roy said. "It was just not our day. Our pitching was very thin."

Eagle Valley jumped out on Steamboat pitcher Matt Watwood for five runs in the first inning.

The Sailors came back and scored four runs in the fourth on four straight doubles by Alan Capistron, Lars Johnson, Alex Wood and Cody Harris. Steamboat looked as if it would continue the rally with the bases loaded and Watwood at the plate. Unfortunately, Watwood hit a sharp line drive right at the shortstop to quell the rally.

From there, the Sailors had to turn to two junior varsity pitchers, who gave up 12 runs in the final couple of innings.

"They gave it everything they had," Roy said. "Eagle Valley is a good hitting team. You got to have top pitchers in there to keep their bats quiet."

Still, Roy thinks Steamboat has a chance to make the playoffs. Because of all the postponements, it's been tough to figure out where each team stands. Roy said he thinks if Steamboat can win three of its last four games, the team should slot in as the fourth seed from the Western Slope.

The top four teams make the playoffs.

Steamboat plays a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Thursday at Palisade. The team then concludes the season with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday against Battle Mountain. The game Saturday is scheduled to be played in Craig, weather permitting.

In Thursday's doubleheader, Steamboat will have the services of its top two pitchers in Wood and Johnson.

"I think we have a good chance if we can take one against Palisade, especially with the pitching we have," Roy said. "I think there is a chance we slide into fourth, but I don't know for sure."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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