9- and 10-year-old team advances to state
Steamboat's 9- and 10-year-old all-star team advanced to the Little League state tournament Tuesday after beating Summit County, 15-11, in Frisco.
"Our goal was to go down there and be 3-0, and that's what we did," coach Craig Pasternak said. "One game at a time. These guys went out and played like champs."
Steamboat came out on top of the back-and-forth battle thanks to strong hitting and solid pitching. Pitchers Channing Conner, Robi Powers and Tucker Lindberg each contributed two innings in the winning effort.
Steamboat's hitters were led by Sean Patten, who hit a clutch home run, Jack McNamara, Zach Cooke and Andrew McCawley.
The team heads to the state tournament July 25 and 26 in Denver.
Steamboat Springs There weren't any seances or rituals, but just 24 hours after looking baffled at the plate against Summit, the Steamboat Springs 11- and 12-year-old all-stars came back and hit like a team playing for its postseason life Tuesday, downing Summit 14-4 to advance to the Little League state tournament for the fourth straight year.
"We practiced (Tuesday) morning and did some hitting," coach Tim Bishop said. "The whole thing was nothing was going to be handed to us. These guys were trying to take it away from us. I was very impressed with Summit. They're a good team."
After scoring just two runs Monday against Summit, Steamboat belted 15 hits and took control of the game in the first two innings.
Camden Lawhead got the scoring going in the first inning with a solo home run to deep center for a 1-0 lead.
In the second, however, was when Steamboat did most of its damage.
The team sent 11 hitters to the plate and scored seven runs thanks in part to two-run singles by Jesse Pugh and Drew Williamson and a two-run double by Danny Lapointe. It was 8-0 by the end of the inning.
"There was more pressure than (Monday)," said LaPointe, who led the team with 4 RBIs, including the game-winning single to make it a 10-run rule game in the top half of the fifth. "We knew we had to win this game to get to state. We just hit the ball. We practiced (Tuesday) morning hard. And we had more focus."
Summit tried to make it a game in the top half of the third inning. The team scored four runs, two of which were unearned, to scratch back to 8-4.
In the fourth, LaPointe had another RBI single, and Jesse Laughlin had a two-run double to put Steamboat up 11-4.
Koby Bishop was impressive on the mound, throwing a complete game while scattering seven hits and striking out six.
The team now prepares for the state tournament July 25 and 26 in Denver.
"We know what to expect," Tim Bishop said. "We know there are good teams. There are four left in the state. It's going to come down to hitting and playing with an attitude that we'll be successful. Eight of these kids have been there four years in a row, so they know what to expect."