Ivan Nielsen fires a pitch toward a Steamboat Springs 11- and 12-year-old All-Star on Tuesday afternoon. Nielsen lasted five innings in Moffat County's 10-3 victory at Emerald Park in Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Drew Turner

Ivan Nielsen fires a pitch toward a Steamboat Springs 11- and 12-year-old All-Star on Tuesday afternoon. Nielsen lasted five innings in Moffat County's 10-3 victory at Emerald Park in Steamboat Springs.

Blue-collar teamwork

Moffat County 11- and 12-year-old Little League team advances

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Brentten Ivers follows through on his second home run of the game Tuesday afternoon against the Steamboat Springs All-Stars at Emerald Park in Steamboat Springs.

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Ivan Nielsen fires a pitch toward a Steamboat Springs 11- and 12-year-old All-Star on Tuesday afternoon. Nielsen lasted five innings in Moffat County's 10-3 victory at Emerald Park in Steamboat Springs.

— The Moffat County 11- and 12-year-old All-Star Little League team made Steamboat Springs' Emerald Park look like home Tuesday with a 10-3 victory.

The dominant win not only gave the visiting Dawgs a 3-0 record in the District 3 tournament, but also crowned them champions.

The Dawgs head to Colorado Springs on July 21 to face the winner of District 5 at 10 a.m.

Moffat County's Brentten Ivers smashed two home runs beyond the center field fence, and right-handed hurler Ivan Nielsen went 5 1/3 innings to pace the victors.

Wyatt Oberwitte made the most of his first tournament pitching appearance by effectively recording the last five outs.

Coach Steve Ivers credited strong pitching and his blue-collar squad amid a celebratory team afterward.

"I always tell my kids we are blue collar - just go out there and play," Ivers said. "Our pitching was that dominant. In our three victories, we scored 19 runs and only gave up seven."

Nielsen began the scoring with a one-out triple to right field in the first inning, and the younger Ivers connected on a towering two-run home run for an early 3-0 lead.

Steamboat Springs got two runs back in their half of the first, and the rivals were down 3-2.

Brenten Ivers made like dejà vu in the top of third inning with a powerful solo shot for a 4-2 advantage.

Steamboat scored one more in the bottom of the third to make it a 4-3 game.

The Dawgs added five more runs in the top of the fourth to effectively blow the game open and take a commanding 9-3 lead.

Timely hitting, a vocal cheering section and a determined Moffat County squad fueled the rally.

With the Steamboat fans sporting rally caps, Steamboat made life interesting by loading the bases with one out.

Oberwitte, 12, calmly struck out the first batter he faced and induced the next to fly out to end any potential threat.

"It's been a big rivalry so it feels pretty good to be on top of that," he said afterward.

Moffat County center fielder Derek Maiolo scored one run in the top of the sixth for the final 10-3 tally.

"This is it guys - anything hit at you, eat it up," coach Ivers said before the bottom of the sixth and final inning.

Oberwitte struck out the first two batters, and Maiolo sealed the deal with a diving catch.

Coach and proud father Larry Maiolo, fresh from being dumped with water bottles, was all smiles.

"They played all-around good ball," Maiolo said.

Coach Ivers had a warning of sorts for opposing coaches.

"We still have not played our best game yet, and I would hate to see the other end of it when we do," he said.

Drew Turner can be reached at 824-7031, ext 211, or aturner@craigdailypress.com

Comments

katobe 6 years, 9 months ago

This was an excellent game played by both teams. One should not downgrade Steamboat. Our boys played excellent offense and defense and that is what made the game. Craig just outplayed Steamboat. You should be proud that someone from our valley within the district is going to State. Support should be given to the winners and losers as it was a very tight tournament from beginning to end.

A very proud mother.

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tamsmom 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't think that anyone downgraded Steamboat or the game they played at all. It was a very well written story about a very exciting game. We are proud that someone from our valley is representing the area at state and YEAH for the Bulldogs that they are finally the one that gets to do it! It was definitely a tight tournament and we are all proud of all the teams for showing good sportsmanship! And great job to the organizer's of the tournament for job well done!

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JABT11 6 years, 9 months ago

I would like everybody to know that as the coach of the Moffat County Little League team, that I was very happy to be playing Steamboat Springs for the championship. There kids played great baseball and beat Summit on Sunday in what was, I think one of the best games of the weekend. I would like everybody to know that we, Moffat County, are very proud to be representing the Yampa Valley at the state games. I would like to say there are no other people in the world like the great people of the Yampa Valley. Thank you

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CoachSmitty 6 years, 9 months ago

Hello, I'm a baseball coach for a team in Broomfield Colorado looking for a hard throwing pitcher to help our team in a few weeks in the Triple Crown Sports 13 year old World Series tournament in Steamboat. A couple of kids are not available to make this trip and I thought what a great opportunity to maybe put the word out to possibly someone in Craig or Steamboat to see if anyone has a name of a kid that would like to hook up with our team as a pitcher to play in this local tournament in your area for the week of July 30-Aug 5. Please e-mail me at doug.smitty@comcast.net. Again, we are looking for a hard throwing, strike throwing 13 year old who would like an opportunity to play in this tournament. serious inquiries please respond.

Thank you Craig and Steamboat families in advance,

Doug Smith

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