Steamboat Legion team powered by passion for baseball
May 24, 2012
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs American Legion baseball team opens it season Memorial Day weekend.
The team, comprised of current and soon-to-be high schoolers, will host a doubleheader against Summit on Monday at the Emerald Park Field. The first game begins at 12:45 p.m. Admission is free and concessions will be available.
The team is coming off one of its most successful seasons in years. Steamboat went 19-10 last year en route to finishing fifth in the Legion B State Tournament.
"We're coming off a really good season," manager Dave Roy said.
The team again should be very competitive. It returns seven players — Ryan Jeep, Cutter Pasternak, Matt Regan, Michael Yost, Billy Clark, Jesse Pugh and Rhett Cook.
The team also adds high school leadoff hitter Justin Ditter, who played last summer with a club team on the Front Range. Rounding out the roster are Chandler Kervin, Danny LaPointe, Koby Bishop and David Cropper.
"What I like about these kids is they are all good athletes and they all have good baseball sense," Roy said.
The team could be led by its deep lineup, led by Jeep, Pasternak and Clark, each of whom shone during the high school season.
Steamboat did suffer a blow, however. Thomas Kelly, who would have been slotted in the middle of the order, is out after tearing his MCL and ACL in the final high school game this spring against Palisade.
"Our pitching is a little questionable," said Roy, who loses his top arm from last summer in Tyler Brown. "But we'll work with that and get better. The material is there. We just have to give them some time on the mound and I think they will be fine."
The team will play 16 league games, half of them at home, against Summit, Eagle Valley, Basalt, Coal Ridge and two teams from Palisade.
The team is likely to add several more games and two tournaments, including one in Green River, Wyo.
"The goal this year is to get back to state and win it," Roy said. "It's going to be fun to watch these guys play. We have good team speed and good athletes. They're all in love with the game of baseball."
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com