11-12 All-Stars fall one out from title
July 15, 2002
The 11-12 District Little League tournament in Idaho Springs lasted one out too long for the Craig All-Star team.
After coming back from a first-game loss, the Craig team won five straight, including a 13-5 win over Steamboat Springs, forcing a second game in the championship against the previously undefeated team. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Craig surrendered a blooper between first and second base that allowed the winning run to score.
“Just a couple of mental errors cost us that last game,” coach Robby Satterwhite said. “That last inning we just didn’t go out there with a win on our mind.”
The championship game Friday began well for the Craig team, maintaining a 3-2 lead with only three outs left in the game.
“We were good through the first five,” Josh Satterwhite said. “Then we just started playing dumb.”
Several errors led to the tying run for Steamboat and then the blooper started its celebration.
“Since we were the returning champions, we planned to win again,” Chris Winder said. “That is what made the loss worse.”
Yet, with a 5-2 record, the team had a good week, considering they had to battle back from a first-round loss.
In the first game of the tournament, Robby Satterwhite said the team was surprised by the quality of pitching that Hayden brought against them.
“The Hayden kid, Aaron Haskins, was throwing gas,” Satterwhite said. “We weren’t prepared for that and it cost us.”
The All-Stars were banished from the winner’s bracket early, with a 5-2 loss against the Wildcat rivals.
The next day the team rebounded in what Josh Satterwhite and Winder considered it’s best game.
“We had three home runs and played pretty strong,” Josh Satterwhite said.
Nick Moyer, who went three for three with two doubles and a home run in an 11-2 win over host team Rocky Mountain, led the offensive showcase.
The team then brought revenge for its first-round loss with a 6-2 win over Hayden, followed by an 8-0 cruise-control victory against Eagle Valley. Both wins were made possible by strong pitching performances. Satterwhite didn’t give up any hits against Hayden and Winder surrendered only one hit against Eagle Valley.
The nail-biter of the week came against Grand County. With Craig down 4-1, Eli Buckner hit a two-run home run to bring the All-Stars within one. Later in the game, with Winder on base, Grand County walked Buckner to face Satterwhite. He ruined the strategy of the intentional walk with an RBI double. Then Moyer gave Craig the lead with another RBI double. Rob Daniels earned the win.
The Craig offense was mighty throughout the tournament with eight home runs in seven games. Josh Satterwhite batted around .750 and Moyer and Winder had impressive averages around .500.
“There might not be any team in the state that has a better offense,” Robby Satterwhite said. “We just had a couple of weaknesses on the defensive side.”
“We played awesome,” Josh Satterwhite said.
Other members of the team were Drew Turner, Anthony Flores, Dillon Guinn, Clark Cleverly and Kelton Willbanks.