Adult baseball league scored ‘home run’ this summer
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Baseball enthusiast Joe Bender may have been on the losing side of the season’s biggest upset Sunday evening, but as the guy who organized the Steamboat Smiles Adult Amateur Baseball League, he couldn’t help feeling like he had hit a home run.
“It was a great game,” Bender said of the championship contest between his team, the Carpet Shoppe Knights, and the underdog Four Star Repair Cubs.
The Cubs defeated the Knights 3-1 behind solid pitching from Jacob Mandell and Don Elliott. Ben Williams pitched all seven innings for the Knights giving up just one earned run.
Bender had a chance to help his team win in the bottom of the sixth inning with bases loaded and two outs. He attempted to slap-hit the ball over the infielders’ heads, but the ball fell just short of the mark resulting in the final out of the inning and ending the Knight’s best chance of winning the game.
But the real winners, Bender said, were the players who took part in this year’s league and kept adult baseball swinging in the Yampa Valley.
“Everybody had a lot of fun this season,” Bender said. “I had a lot of people thank me for putting it together, and I thank a lot of people for helping me.”
This year’s league, which included three teams playing six games each, began in June and ended last weekend with the championship game at Howelsen Hill.
“We picked up a lot of good players — you should see some of the pitching,” Bender said.
Teams played a game on Sunday evenings and the third team would get a bye. The teams were rotated so that each team had a bye every three weeks.
Bender said he hopes to add an additional team to the lineup next summer and eliminate the need for a bye. He is also looking into the possibility of playing some of the games on weekday nights if fields are available.
“There are definitely some players out there that are not playing in our league,” Bender said. “We would love to get them involved.”
Anyone interested in playing in the league or forming a team can send an e-mail to email@example.com.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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