Steamboat Springs Judging by pre-game warm-ups, Steamboat Springs 9- and 10-year-old Little League All-Star coach Craig Pasternak figured it could be a long day.
But playing Cherry Creek in the opening game of the state tournament, any initial jitters turned around pretty quickly.
On the strength of Channing Conner's arm and some timely hitting, Steamboat outlasted Cherry Creek, 4-1, on Saturday in Denver.
"It was just an all-out effort," Pasternak said. "The first warm-up session was good. But the infield one at the beginning of the game didn't look very good."
Steamboat didn't let the poor infield session do anything to stop them.
The team got the scoring going in the top of the third inning. Davis Petersen had an RBI triple, and Jack McNamara and Robi Powers each added run-scoring singles to put Steamboat up, 3-0, early.
After Cherry Creek got one back in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 3-1, Powers added an RBI single in the fifth to push Steamboat's lead to 4-1.
From there, Conner did the rest.
He pitched five innings of five-hit ball and got an error-free game from the rest of his teammates.
Tucker Limberg pitched a perfect sixth inning for Steamboat, to pick up the save.
"There was a big crowd, and everybody was a little nervous (at the) beginning," Pasternak said. "But I knew we could hit. That's our strength all year, and we proved it again. The kids played awesome."
11- and 12-year-old team drops state opener, 10-0
The Steamboat Springs 11- and 12-year-old Little League All-Star team ran into a tough pitcher and cold bats Saturday in the team's opening game of the state tournament.
Playing Grand Mesa - a team that has won state the past couple of years - Steamboat got three-hit in a 10-0 loss.
"Probably the biggest thing we did was, we never got that big hit," Steamboat coach Tim Bishop said.
Bishop said Steamboat had runners on second and third in multiple innings but never could get a hit to scratch out a couple of runs.
"I'm a big believer in runs," Bishop said. "In other words, something that can happen in a game can change the whole flow. We didn't get those runs punched in, and it seemed like we never got over the hump to start to feel like we could beat these guys."
Ryan Jeep started the game for Steamboat and pitched 3 1/3 innings.
Bishop said part of the problem was that Steamboat played tentatively for most of the game. He said they never put pressure on Grand Mesa to make plays.