Steamboat Storm baseball stomp to .500 record |

Steamboat Storm baseball stomp to .500 record

Former Steamboat Storm player AJ Medina rounds first base and heads for a double as a teammate gets waved home from third base. The Storm spent three years in Steamboat Springs as part of the Mountain West Summer Collegiate Baseball League, which disbanded due to problems housing players in mountain towns.

A couple of big swings, paired with a strong game on the mound from lefty Jack Drew on Thursday, allowed the Steamboat Storm summer college baseball team to even its record.

The Storm defeated the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds, 5-2, in the second game of a doubleheader, after losing the first, 10-3. It all knotted the Storm at 5-5 on the season.

"Jack threw great, his first complete game since high school," manager Alex Adrian said.

Drew, playing during the school season at Indiana University Southeast, went all seven innings and struck out six.

The Storm has now won four of its last six and hopes to build on that mark after the first of a three-date home stand. The team swept a series last week against Carbondale, then split against Eagle Valley.

The team, comprised of college baseball players from across the Midwest, Rocky Mountain Southwest and West regions of the United States, plays at home for its next two doubleheaders, at noon Saturday against Grand Junction and at noon again Tuesday against Rangely.

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"The first couple of weeks we were still trying to get everything figured out — who plays where, which pitchers can go longer —and now we're really starting to get to know the kids and we're really looking ahead to the rest of the season," Adrian said. "When we're on, we can really hit the ball. We've got some good kids from all over the US."

Legion team starts summer strong

Effective pitching has helped the Steamboat Springs-based American Legion Post 44 baseball team to a strong start.

The squad won its first four games of the season and now, eight games in, has lost only once.

"We’re making fewer errors, learning to play as a team, and seeing a brighter future for Steamboat baseball with a good class of talented baseball players coming up," coach Rusty McRight said. 

The team started its summer with a thrilling rally to beat Granby 12-11 Memorial Day. Jack Boyle came up big in relief, while Tanner Ripley knocked out a walk-off hit to win the game.

Steamboat won the next game, 12-1, then, behind a strong pitching performance from Alan Duty, beat Rifle, 8-5. Ethan Johnson took the mound in a 7-5 win against Fruita.

This week, the team won twice in a doubleheader at Woodland Park. Duty threw a complete game in the first game as his team won, 14-1. George Cook took the ball in the second game for a 12-2 win.

"It’s good to see these kids playing together as a unit and not as individuals," McRight said. "There is a unique bond that is developing, and it’s good to see them grow in the sport together."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9