Steamboat baseball team forfeits game; Saturday games in question
May 1, 2014
Steamboat Springs — On the bright side, the Steamboat Springs High School baseball team won its second game of a Wednesday doubleheader against Summit.
The Sailors got strong pitching from Ryan Jeep and Jesse Pugh and consistent offense up and down the lineup for a 10-0 win. They improved to 9-8.
The rest of Wednesday wasn't so positive, however: Steamboat had to forfeit the first game because it lacked enough athletes to compete. One player showed up in time for the second game, and the team responded well to the adversity, getting the win. Still, there are no guarantees about the team's final doubleheader of the season, set for 11 a.m. Saturday in Craig.
"We're not sure we will be able to play them," Steamboat coach Rusty McRight said. "We only have eight right now."
He said a number of issues have sidelined athletes, from grades to injuries. One injured player has a chance to return by Saturday, which would give the team the nine players it needs.
The Sailors arrived to play Summit for a 2 p.m. game Wednesday, forfeited the first game and waited on the ninth player, who was in classes, to arrive in time for a second game.
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"We have faced a ton of adversity this year," McRight said. "We all expected to be in the playoffs, but we lost five games by one run. Then we had personnel issues like grades and sickness, and it's just been a really tough season for everybody.
"I told them to put all that aside and play in that second game the way they've been taught. They played very well. We had a lot of kids out of position, but they played very good ball and won."
McRight said this season's issues don't dampen his positive outlook for the program. He was hoping a team meeting Thursday evening could help straighten things out, and he was confident he had a strong core to play a schedule this summer, then return to the high school league next year with adequate numbers.
"What I want to get across to them is the word commitment, that we have to have total buy-in from players through commitment in order to have a successful program," he said. "They've made a lot of progress up until now, and if they can just commit a little more, how far can they go? That's the attitude they're taking right now. I do not see any quit in them."