Lynx repeat as state champs
The Northwest Colorado Lynx had just won their second straight state baseball championship so it was celebration time. With two come-from-behind wins in the tournament last weekend, including a seven-run rally in the state final to lift the Lynx to victory, the 11-and-under team had plenty of energy to dispel on the Aurora fields.
“We threw everything up in the air and tackled (coaches) Shane (Camilletti) and Steve (Ivers),” Charles Wood, 11, said.
Well, kind of. Wood said the players weren’t actually able to bring Camilletti and Ivers to the ground.
“We tried,” Wood said.
Forgive the Lynx for being a little excited, especially the three players from Steamboat — Wood, Alan Capistron and Isiah Forsyth. Last season, the trio was added to the Northwest Colorado roster after the state tournament. This year, they each played integral roles in helping the Lynx repeat as Division 2 state champions.
“Last year, we wanted to have a good showing,” Camilletti said. “I knew there was an outside chance we could win, but we were a bit of a long shot. We’re better this year. Our expectations are pretty darn high this year, and it has made it more difficult. Now, they aren’t satisfied with anything but first.”
The coaches and players are hoping that confidence and success carries over into next week’s Triple Crown Division 2 World Series, a berth the Lynx earned by winning several tournaments early in the season. The team, made up of players from Steamboat, Hayden, Craig and Meeker, opens play at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Ski Town Fields in Steamboat.
“We think we have a chance at winning it,” Wood said of the World Series. “We have to come strong.”
Northwest Colorado got off to an opposite start at last weekend’s state tournament. Despite winning its first couple of games, the team played down to the level of its competition last Friday, Camilletti said. On Saturday, the Lynx got rained out. Finally, on Sunday, things started to look up.
Northwest Colorado defeated the Greeley Bad Boys, 6-5, in extra innings. With one out and Ben Fulton on third, Wood drove in the game-winning run with his hard hit over the centerfielder’s head.
“I watched the first pitch, and it was a ball,” Wood said. “The second pitch was right where I like it, and I did exactly what Shane taught me to do — line my knuckles up, throw my hands out and swing through the ball. … The whole dugout ran out and jumped on me.”
In the next game, the Lynx batted around in the first inning, defeating the Colorado Heat easily, 9-1. In the finals against Pueblo East, Northwest Colorado was trailing 3-2 before a seven-run inning propelled the Lynx to a 9-3 win.
And it may not have happened if not for one of baseball’s most basic plays — beating a throw to first.
Forsyth should have been thrown out, Camilletti said, but his hustle ignited his teammates, while simultaneously taking a bit of spirit away from Pueblo.
“Once Isiah got on base, everyone got excited,” Capistron, 11, said. “It kind of got the rally started.”
Capistron said it’s not uncommon for the Lynx to have innings in which they bat around and score seven runs. It’s also not uncommon for a different player to come up big in different games.
“That’s how we’ve done it all year,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the ninth hitter. Sometimes it’s the fourth hitter.”
For winning the state championship, each player received a plaque and a T-shirt.
“I’ve already hung it up,” Capistron said.
— To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com
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