Inaugural WSL All-Star game a hit

Bryan Wojtkie--wicz was 12 the last time he played in an All-Star game.

Tuesday, the Moffat County senior-to-be joined three teammates and other top players from the Class 4A Western Slope League for the inaugural All-Star baseball game in Rifle.

"It was more relaxed than a normal game," Wojtkiewicz said. "We weren't so competitive, and it was fun to meet the other players."

Most of the All-League players from the WSL dusted off uniforms from a season that ended three weeks ago to play one, nine-inning game.

"It was a lot of fun and a new experience," said Moffat County junior-to-be and honorable mention selection Brad Grinstead. "It was a reward for all of the hard work we put in during the year."

The game could become an annual event if Rifle coach Troy Phillips has anything to do with it.

The skipper of the team, which includes players from Moffat County, Steamboat Springs, Eagle Valley and Rifle, hoped players would have a chance to participate together again next year.

"The (WSL) coaches are all positive about it and want to play it again," he said.

Of Moffat's five all-league players, (senior Jared Lowther, juniors Wojtkiewicz and Reid Hanneman, sophomores Bryan Richards and Grinstead) Hanneman was the only one to not participate.

"It felt good to be out there," Wojtkiewicz said.

Grinstead was one of the few underclassmen to earn the honor.

"There were two or three other juniors-to-be there," he said. "I hope to work hard and get invited back next year."

Grinstead was 3-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored. He helped his team defeat the group of players from Delta, Palisade and Glenwood Springs, 6-2.

Wojtkiewicz was 0-3 with his bat, but he contributed four strikeouts in two innings of work. Richards went 1-3 and gave up one earned run in an inning of work from the field.

Lowther, who led the Bulldogs in on-base percentage during the season, reached base twice with a walk and a hit. He also scored a run. Lowther closed out the game for his team on the mound, just as he did throughout his senior season.

The Bulldog players didn't think that one player stood out as a dominating force in the league but said there was consistent quality from everybody.

"There were good plays on both sides," Grinstead said. "It was just good baseball."

Wojtkiewicz said earning four strikeouts against some of the best in the West was a confidence builder.

"It gave me more confidence for next year," he said.

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