All-star team routs opponent |

All-star team routs opponent

U11 squad advances to state tourney

With a 12-2 victory against Grand County, a third Steamboat Springs Little League all-star team claimed a District 3 title on Tuesday.

The 13-member squad of 10- and 11-year-old players, assembled from the four-team Steamboat Springs Little League Majors, proudly hoisted their championship banner once they had finished the game and soaked manager Gil Ramirez with the water jug.

“I expected it to be a hot day, so I made sure to get the water icicle-cold, but I didn’t expect it to end up on me,” Ramirez said. “It was a great team effort and we played an errorless game… Any win we can get like that, I’ll take as many cold dunkings as they can give.”

On July 7, the team posted a 6-0 shutout victory over Grand County, highlighted by Ivan Nielsen pitching 13 strikeouts in 5 innings.

On Tuesday, Steamboat turned on the offense for the deciding playoff game against Grand County in Kremmling.

“The kids were just hitting the ball really well,” coach John Weinman said.

Tied at two runs apiece in the bottom of the third inning, both teams struggled to find a scoring stride. Then Nielsen sparked a hitting frenzy with a single that was followed by a string of singles from Nick Paxton, Christian Ramirez and Tyler Scott. When Nielsen came around to bat again, he doubled two runs in and brought the inning run tally to six.

Ben Bradfield pitched three innings for Steamboat and was relieved by Bryson Campbell in the fourth. Steamboat held Grand County scoreless in the top of the fourth. Steamboat added another four runs with strong batting from Sam Harrelson and ended the game at 12-2 after four innings due to the league’s 10-run mercy rule.

Steamboat advances to the state tournament with Colorado’s other three district champions next weekend in Thornton. The first game is at 9 a.m. July 22 at the Northern Lights field No. 3.

While coach Weinman is unsure of the talent that the best of the Front Range districts’ teams will possess, he thinks Steamboat has as good of a chance as any.

“You know, we’ve got a good group,” Weinman said. “They’re a solid bunch of ball players.”

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