Steamboat baseball takes doubleheader against Eagle Valley
April 21, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Well, there certainly is something to be said about playing at home.
Just ask the Steamboat Springs High School baseball team.
After a two-hour delay to dry up left field at Emerald Blue — it's never easy trying to get a home game going here — Steamboat played as fundamentally sound baseball as it has in a couple of years.
Steamboat, behind a pair of complete games from Tyler Brown and Tommy Lyon, swept Saturday's doubleheader against Eagle Valley, winning both games, 6-3.
"We needed to have our intensity in both games," Steamboat manager Jeff Walton said. "It was key to win those two games. We're over .500 and over .500 in league. It's good to see."
With the day, Steamboat (8-7 overall, 4-4 in the Western Slope League) also kept itself in the running for a playoff spot. The team is in third place in the Western Slope League with four league games remaining.
It wouldn't be, had it not gotten steady pitching and timely hitting.
In the first game, Eagle Valley took a 1-0 lead on a Tanner Coulter solo home run in the first inning.
Coulter subdued the Sailors through three innings before Cutter Pasternak had a two-run triple in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at 2.
The Sailors did most of their damage in the fifth. Ryan Jeep knocked in Billy Clark with an RBI single before Thomas Kelly provided the big blow.
Kelly hit a towering three-run home run to right center to give Steamboat a 6-2 lead.
"I was trying to find the gap and bring everyone home," said Kelly, who was 4 for 5 in the doubleheader. "I think it was a fastball. The kid missed his spot, and I made him pay for it."
On the mound, Brown was efficient. The senior threw just 76 pitches and allowed his defense to play strong behind him.
He threw seven innings, scattered eight hits, gave up two runs, walked two and struck out four.
He saved his best work for the fifth. After the first two Eagle Valley runners reached, and one scored via a sacrifice fly, Brown struck out Eagles cleanup hitter Travis Edgar to keep Steamboat's lead intact.
"I love pressure situations," Brown said. "I think they're fun to be in. I want to be in those kinds of situations. I pitch better when I'm in those types of situation."
Where Brown was efficient, Lyon often was dominant.
The senior southpaw mowed through the Eagle Valley lineup, giving up just six hits and three runs.
He also struck out nine and walked just one.
Eagle Valley didn't advance a runner past second base until the fifth inning.
"The first four innings, I was just throwing," Lyon said. "Then I just really had to focus to finish."
Steamboat got runs in the first, third and fifth innings, taking an early 3-0 lead. Eagle Valley cut it to 3-2 in the fifth on a two-run double by Zach Linder.
"I made a mistake up to him," Lyon said.
But the Sailors rebounded, scratching out runs in the fifth and sixth innings and two in the seventh.
Lyon, Kelly, Pasternak and Danny LaPointe all had two hits in the second game. Clark led the way with two RBIs.
Steamboat is off for spring break. The team next plays at 4 p.m. May 1 against Moffat County. Weather permitting, the game is scheduled for Steamboat.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com