Steamboat Springs The 12-year-old, all-star Little League baseball team from Steamboat Springs wrapped up the district tournament by beating Gilpin on Sunday. The 17-2 victory earned the local team its second title in two years and a berth to the state Little League Championships this week in Aurora.
“Our team showed a lot of character in this tournament,” coach Buddy King said Monday afternoon. “Not only did we play as a team when we were winning, but we showed that we could come together when we were down.”
He said the team was sparked by the speed of Payton McElhiney, Sean Patten, Cale Reistad; the power hitting of David Brown, Matthew Hansen and Zach Cooke, who all had home runs in the tournament; and solid hitting from Channing Conner and McKenyon King. The team also got strong pitching from Andrew McCawley and strong play from Colton Pasternak and Tucker Limberg.
The Steamboat team played Gilpin three times, winning in the opening game, 11-2, on July 9 and losing, 15-10, after giving up 10 runs in the first inning to Gilpin on July 16. Steamboat rebounded with a 17-2 victory in the final game Sunday afternoon.
The victory means Steamboat will earn a shot at the state tournament which begins Thursday in Aurora. Steamboat will play Palisade at 5:30 p.m. at the Little League complex, 3990 South Mission Parkway.
The tournament will continue Friday with the championship contest taking place Saturday.
“The key will be pitching,” Buddy King said. “We’ve got a very good defensive team, and I know that we can score runs. But the key to doing well in a tournament like this is how you use team’s pitching and how it holds up during the tournament.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com