Little League lineups
■ Steamboat Springs Major League All-Stars
Shawn Sullivan (manager)
Doug Starkey (assistant coach)
Brian Kratz (assistant coach)
Bill Cropper (assistant coach)
■ Steamboat Springs Juniors
John Regan (manager)
Britt Carmichael (assistant coach)
Steamboat Springs The key to winning a state title will come down to hitting, Steamboat Springs Little League coach Doug Starkey insists.
“If we hit the ball well, we are going to win, and winning a state title is going to come down to our offensive production,” he said this week.
This weekend, two teams from Steamboat Springs hope their offensive production will lead to state titles and a chance to advance in the Little League regional playoffs. Steamboat will be represented in the major league and junior divisions. The majors team is made up of select all-star players. The junior team is the same that finished the regular season with a 7-1 record. Both teams advanced by winning district playoffs earlier this month.
The Steamboat majors team begins play Saturday at Summit Middle School. It will face off against Academy, Orchard Mesa and North Boulder for the state title.
“We are feeling excited and we all think that we can go in and win the state tournament,” Starkey said.
The team, made up of 11- and 12-year-olds, opens the tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday on the artificial surface of Summit Middle School against the District 5 champions, Academy.
Orchard Mesa will face North Boulder on the other side of the bracket. The tournament will continue Sunday with the losing teams from the first round falling into the consolation bracket. Those teams will have to play back in order to have a shot at the title in the double-elimination tournament. Games will continue through Tuesday when the winner of the main bracket will face the winner of the consolation bracket in the championship tilt.
The junior division, for 13- and 14-year-old players, will follow the same format, with games taking place at Hidden Lake Fields in Westminster. The bracket will include Steamboat, Westminster, High Plains and an all-star team from District 1, which is the area around Grand Junction. Steamboat is scheduled to face the Grand Junction team at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Westminster will face High Plains on the other side of the double-elimination bracket.
“We are going to see some better teams at this tournament than we’ve seen this season,” coach John Regan said. “These teams have probably played 30 or 40 games this summer. We would be lucky if we play 10.”
Regan expects the Steamboat juniors, which includes three players from Phippsburg and two from the Kremmling area, to be competitive.
“If we can come out and play well in the first game, win or lose, it should set the tone,” Regan said. “We’ve got a bunch of good players on this team. They’ve been together since they were 7 or 8 years old, and I think they can play with anybody.”