Steamboat Springs If history was any indication, the Summit Extreme 13-and-under AA baseball team knew what it was up against.
The team, comprising players from Summit County and Steamboat Springs, played in a Triple Crown Mountain Division 2 tournament Saturday and Sunday in Grand Junction.
The tournament drew multiple teams from Grand Junction, a breeding ground for some of the best youth baseball teams in the state.
“It was a really competitive tournament,” Summit Extreme coach and Steamboat Springs resident Tim Bishop said. “The best teams always come from Grand Junction. They always dominate the state.”
Routt County players include Koby Bishop, Ryan Jeep, Jesse Pugh, Spencer Petersen and Camden Lawhead.
The Extreme went 3-1 in the tournament, finishing third overall and earning a bid into the third session of the Triple Crown World Series from Aug. 3-8 in Steamboat.
“We always lose to these teams,” Bishop said. “Now we’re finally beating them.”
The Extreme went into the tournament ranked No. 1 in Colorado in its division.
The team opened pool play on Saturday with a 6-5 win against the Fruita Dirt Dogs and an 8-6 win against the Grand Junction Mavericks.
In the first game, the Extreme won in the bottom of the sixth inning with a bases-loaded walk, then scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth innings against the Mavericks.
On Sunday, the field was seeded with the Extreme as the No. 2 seed.
The team opened against Montrose and went into the last inning tied at 6. With Pugh and Koby Bishop on base, Summit’s Thomas DeBonville hit a go-ahead two-run triple to give the Extreme an 8-6 win.
Pugh pitched the first three innings and Jeep closed out the last two.
In the semifinals, the team played the Grand Junction Cobras, a team that had won three tournaments coming in.
With just nine players and temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, Tim Bishop said his team clearly was fatigued.
The Cobras beat up the Extreme pitchers, coming away with a 9-3 win. The loss ended a 13-game Extreme winning streak.
The Summit Extreme will travel to Omaha, Neb., this weekend for one of the biggest tournaments in the nation, and it coincides with the College World Series.
The team also will play in the Steamboat Mountain Magic tournament June 25 to 27, the Colorado state championships the second week of July and the Triple Crown World Series in August.
“It will be nice to come back home and play and sleep in our own beds,” Tim Bishop said. “It’s going to be a big challenge with the state championships and World Series.”