Hot-hitting Steamboat squad wins championship
July 14, 2014
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs U14 baseball team got the last laugh of the summer.
The squad wrapped up its season Saturday and Sunday with the fourth of four Western Slope Summer Series tournaments that have kept the team busy so far this year.
After a so-so Saturday that gave the team a poor seed in the tournament's championship bracket, the squad was nearly perfect Sunday, storming to three giant wins to win the final tournament of its summer schedule.
"It was a great weekend," coach Robert Fitzhugh said. "Saturday we played one good game and one not-so-good game. Then Sunday, we came out and hit the ball magnificently."
Entering the day as the No. 4 seed, Steamboat knocked off all three of its Sunday opponents, winning each game with the 10-run mercy rule. The squad scored 51 runs in those three games and gave up only 12, beating Grand County, Eagle, then Edwards in the championship.
Zach Cook had a grand slam against Eagle, but Fitzhugh said there were no standout stars on the day, and that's what stood out.
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"We had 10 players and we batted all 10, and it was just 10 guys hitting the ball great at the same time," he said. "That's something you rarely see. Usually part of the lineup is hitting great and part isn't, and you piece it together to score runs. This was everyone having a great day all at the same time. It was really special."
This is the first year of the small tournament series with other teams in the region. Steamboat’s results were OK entering the final weekend, played in Steamboat, but they averaged out better than that considering the final results. The team made the finals one other time, then the semifinals once. Another tournament was canceled by weather, meaning Steamboat made the finals in two of the three events that went the distance and won one of those.
Cook picked up the win pitching in the final game, and Theo Hansen was the winning pitcher in the first two Sunday games. Jimmy Colfer and Quintin White also threw quality innings Sunday.
As strong as the pitching was, however, the lingering memory from Sunday will be just how hot those bats were.
"It's the best hitting I've seen for three games at any level," Fitzhugh said. "They had a great day and took care of business."