Glenwood tops Storm to claim Mountain West College Baseball League title
Steamboat Springs — Saturday’s game against the Glenwood Geckos was exactly how Steamboat Storm coach Matt Ellinghuysen pictured the Mountain West Summer College Baseball league’s season coming to a close.
Well, maybe in his picture the final score of the championship game against Glenwood would have been different.
The Glenwood Geckos scored four runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to rally to a 6-4 win over the Steamboat Storm and earn the 2016 Mountain West Summer College Baseball League title.
“It was a really good run,” Ellinghuysen said. “I’m very proud of our guys. We had the heart of our order up in the fifth and sixth innings. Those guys have come through for us all year. It didn’t happen on Saturday, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Steamboat came out strong in the title game with four runs in the first three innings.
Home runs by left fielder Casey Echols and catcher Bryce Aldridge and timely hitting helped the Storm build a 4-0 lead. But the Geckos pecked away at that advantage and scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Storm, 18-16, wrapped up its second full season in Steamboat Springs, placing second in the regular season standings and second in the league’e end-of-season tournament. The finish was an improvement over the team’s 2015 campaign when the Storm finished third in the league standings and fourth in the tournament.
“We are building something good in Steamboat,” Ellinghuysen said. “We are building great support from the community. Our team and our league just keep getting stronger, and it’s drawing new players all the time.”
Ellinghuysen said there was a solid turnout of fans for Saturday’s contest in Carbondale, where the Geckos play their home games. He said the majority of the fans were cheering for the Glenwood-based team, but that was OK. He added it was a great atmosphere for the young players who come from two- and four-year colleges across the country.
The league includes teams from Glenwood, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Eagle Valley, Grand Junction and Summit County.
The players stay with host families in the communities where they play and compete in double headers twice per week. The Steamboat team played all of its home games at Emerald Park.
In the season-ending, double-elimination tournament, Steamboat beat Eagle Valley 5-3 in the opening game before falling to Glenwood in the second round 4-3.
Steamboat rebounded with a 12-2 victory over Grand Junction on Friday, setting up a rematch with Glenwood Springs on Saturday,
“It has been a great year for our Storm,” said Dave Roy, who helped bring the the team to Steamboat Springs two years ago and continues to help organize the team behind the scenes now. “Many thanks to the players, coach Matt Ellinghuysen, assistant coach Alex Adrian and our host families who made it all possible.”
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