The Colorado Cutthroats hadn't won a Triple Crown baseball game in two years before last weekend. The team of 10- and 11-year-olds increased that number by 200 percent on the way to a second-place finish in the Division 3 Triple Crown Mountain Madness tournament this weekend.
"It was a great accomplishment for my team," coach Mark Nielsen said. "Sometimes, things go good, and sometimes, they go bad for a team. Last week was tough for them, and this week, they were runners up."
The Cutthroats finished pool play, 2-1, with wins against the Southeast Denver Baseball League All-Stars and Steamboat Springs.
The Cutthroats went into Sunday's game against Steamboat knowing two things; they'd defeated the Steamboat team several times in scrimmages this summer, and if they won, they would make it to the championship game.
In the third inning against Steamboat, the Cutthroats broke open a close game by scoring seven runs in the third to go ahead, 12-7. The Cutthroat defense held Steamboat to one run the rest of the game, and they advanced to the championship with a 12-7 win.
The championship was a rematch of the first game of the tournament for the Cutthroats. Previously, the Standley Lake Gators prevailed in a close 8-7 win. On Sunday, the Gators had more to show.
They scored 10 runs in the first inning. The Cutthroats never recovered in a 15-2 loss.
"The ball just seemed to get by us," Nielsen said. "Mental errors really killed us."
Despite the loss in the title game, the Cutthroats' coach was happy.
"I'm very proud of them," he said. "Only their second tournament, and they're runners up."
The 14-and-younger Tri Coun--ty Trojans also won their first game of the summer with an 8-3 win against the Chatfield Cobras in the tournament. The Trojans were one of three teams with 14-year olds in the combined 13 and 14 age brackets. They lost games against the other 14-year-old teams, 17-11 against the Bolingbrook, Ill., Darien Irish and 8-5 against the Grand Junction Titans.
The 12-and-younger North--west Colorado Lynx saw familiar foes in the Longmont Titans and the Loveland Hawks during the weekend. It wasn't the Lynx's weekend against those teams.
Longmont beat the Lynx, 7-4, in the opening game of the tournament. Loveland added another loss to the Lynx later on Saturday.
"We've beat Longmont bad before, but they had our number this weekend," coach Shane Camilletti said. "We hit the ball hard against them, but it was at somebody every time."
The Lynx won two games to go 2-2 in pool play and make it into the four-team bracket. One of the two wins was a 12-3 defeat of the Lakewood Tigers Sunday morning. The Tigers went on to win the title, and the Lynx lost for the second time against Longmont, 5-1, in the semifinals.
There are no more Triple Crown tournaments locally for the rest of the summer until the World Series in August. The Lynx is the only local team to qualify, but all local teams receive invitations to the tournament.
"I'm not sure what other tournaments we'll enter," Camilletti said. "We'll get some games with teams, but we haven't decided on what's next."