Junior League, big play | SteamboatToday.com

Junior League, big play

Steamboat U-14 all-star baseball team wins district finals, looks to state title

— Routt County’s 13- to 14-year-old baseball all-stars will have a shot at a state title next weekend.

The 12 boys on the Steamboat squad earned the right to represent District 3 after winning the Junior League District Finals, which were July 7 to 10 in Eagle.

Coach Steve Watwood said Steamboat went into its first tournament game against Gilpin looking to make a statement by starting relief pitcher Matt Watwood.

“He’s 6-foot-1, 200 pounds with a partial beard,” Steve Watwood said about his son. “We put him in to intimidate, but he went all seven innings.”

After defeating Gilpin, 11-2, Steamboat continued to dominate, going on to defeat Eagle/Vail Valley, 21-6, and Summit County, 20-1. Both games were stopped after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Although coach Watwood said the team “outdid themselves with their hitting,” he attributed the tournament success to a solid rotation of six “top-notch” starting pitchers.

“We can always count on Matt (Watwood) to throw strikes. Tommy (Lyon) and Ben (Williams) are our off-speed experts, and Alex (Estes) and Cody (Miles) are our guns,” Watwood said.

As district champions, Steamboat travels to Thornton on July 22 to begin round-robin, double-elimination play with Colorado’s other three district winners. Steamboat’s first two games are at noon July 22 and 23. The semifinal game is at 6 p.m. July 24. The Junior League State Championship game is at 6 p.m. July 25. All games will be played at Thornton’s Larry Walker Field.

“We’ve got some great hitters, but I think it will come down to defense,” Watwood said. “We had only two errors in the tournament. If we can play that kind of defense, we can hang.”

— To reach Dave Shively, call 846-1129

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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