Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs American Legion baseball team never thought it would get an opportunity to play for a state championship.
The team lost, 7-1, to Eagle Valley on Sunday in a game that propelled Eagle Valley into the state tournament and relegated Steamboat to a third-place finish in the district tournament, one spot removed from a berth into the state championship.
But because several teams from the Eastern Plains decided not to attend this week’s state tournament in Craig, the Steamboat squad was extended an invite. Play begins Thursday.
“There was an opening,” Steamboat manager Dave Roy said, “and we were offered the opportunity.”
Against Eagle Valley, Steamboat never could get anything going with its bats. Tommy Lyon paced the team, picking up two of Steamboat’s four hits.
Tyler Brown pitched — his fourth game in five days — and did an adequate job, but Eagle Valley picked it spots and got clutch hits.
Steamboat now prepares for Thursday’s opener against Strasburg (20-4).
Steamboat should be back at full strength with the return of No. 1 pitcher Alan Capistron.