Steamboat Springs Headed into last week’s Triple Crown World Series, Steamboat Springs baseball coach Doug Brown knew the competition was going to be tough.
“Our goal was to be competitive, and if we were lucky, pick up a win or two,” Brown said Monday.
The team, made up mostly of players from Steamboat, Summit County, Grand County and a few from Texas, finished 2-5 in the final standings. It wasn’t a winning record, but the coach said it was respectable considering that the Steamboat team only had one official practice before the start of last week's tournament. Most of the teams Steamboat faced had played in the neighborhood of 60 games this season.
“We knew the odds were against us,” Brown said. “But everybody on the team felt it was important to go out there and play, and we felt like we would be competitive.”
The Steamboat team battled in its first three games but could not come away with a win. Steamboat fell to the Oilers from Humble, Texas, 9-3 in the first game Wednesday, then lost to the DBA Crushers from Danville, Calif., 14-6, and Jaha Baseball from Clackamas, Ore., 12-2 in Thursday’s games.
Brown said losing was disappointing for the players, but he never felt like the local team was out of the games or not competitive. He said his players never hung their heads.
On Friday, Steamboat played extra innings before falling to the Fort Bend Texans 9-8 in the first game of the double elimination round. Later that same day, with the team’s tournament life on the line, Steamboat managed to put it all together with a 17-11 victory over the Northern Colorado Sliders.
The game helped the Steamboat team advance to Saturday’s round where it beat the Millard Piranhas from just outside of Omaha, Neb., 7-3.
But the Steamboat team’s run came to an end later that night with a 13-1 loss to the Colorado Falcons from Highlands Ranch.
“We finished up 2-5, which isn’t too bad,” Brown said. “Sure we would have liked to have done better, but I’m very proud of the way the boys played. They never gave up, and we were competitive all week.”
The team included David Brown, Zach Cooke, Theo Hansen, Payton McElhiney and Sean Patton from Steamboat Springs. Keegan Cancelosi, Jordan Ehlert, Max Hess and Michael Steadman joined the team from Summit County. There were also four players from Texas, including former Steamboat Springs resident Cannon Reese, and another from Granby.
Brown said organizers started talking about forming the team a month ago, and the players met as a team for the first time just a few days before the tournament started. He is optimistic that this same group of players will get together next summer for another Triple Crown bid.
The Federal Way Knights from Federal Way, Wash., won the division with an 8-0-1 record. Crew Select from Spokane, Wash., was second, and Jaha Baseball from Clackamas, Ore., was third.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com