Storm hope for late-season surge
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Storm college baseball team is looking for a big finish to the season, and if it gets one, it can plan on a home playoff game when the postseason tournament begins next week.
The squad begins play for a doubleheader at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Steamboat Springs at Emerald Park against the Eagle Valley Eagles.
Steamboat is currently 12-12 and coming off an up-and-down performance Tuesday on the road against the Vail Vipers. A Steamboat rally fell just short in a 9-8 loss in the first game. The team then won the second handily, 11-3.
The difference, coach Matt Ellinghusen said, was pitching. In the first game the Storm had it. In the second they didn’t.
“The biggest thing is pitching,” Ellinghusen said. “In that second game, we pitched well, and our offense backed us up. That’s been the case all year. In the games we’ve won, we’ve pitched really well. If we can limit the big innings where we give up five or six runs, we have a good shot of winning every time out.”
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Steamboat is currently fourth in the six-team Mountain West Summer Collegiate Baseball League. A strong showing against Eagle Valley and another this weekend against the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds could change everything in the tightly packed standings.
Steamboat’s hoping to finish in the top half of the league, then host a playoff game Monday when the postseason begins.
“The better we play the rest of this week, the better position we’ll be in come playoff time,” Ellinghusen said.
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The Longevity Project event, sponsored by Steamboat Pilot & Today, has shifted from in-person to virtual. The keynote speaker Kevin Hines contracted COVID-19, and he will now be presenting his talk remotely.