FARMINGTON — It took six innings for D-BAT Leach to get a runner in scoring position, but when the chance arose, the team capitalized.
The Dallas team notched three runs in a sixth-inning rally to escape a tight contest against Bill Hood 3-1 in Game 9 of the Connie Mack World Series on Monday night at Ricketts Park.
Through five innings, Pat Leach's team had no luck against Bill Hood starting pitcher Carlo Graffeo.
Graffeo held D-BAT hitless for 5 1/3 inning, but a pair of walks put two runners aboard before a Blake Wiggins single loaded the bases.
Blake Adams then broke the 0-0 deadlock with a single between the shortstop and third baseman to score pinch runner Grant Devore.
"Blake freaking Adams. He's so clutch, and he's been like that all summer," said the D-BAT manager. "I call him a silent warrior. He doesn't say anything and just goes about his business."
Adams said he was ready for the opportunity to contribute.
"We got a couple walks to lead off the inning, and that always helps," said the D-BAT catcher. "The ball just finally found some holes."
D-BAT tacked on two more runs to extend the lead to 3-0, thanks to a Travis Stone sacrifice fly and a wild pitch from Graffeo.
"Adding on allowed us to have some flexibility there," Leach said.
The Louisiana team tried to rally in the seventh but came up just short.
Daniel Lahare drove in Spencer Miller with an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-1.
Two batters later, Sunday's home run derby champion Zach Clark came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Clark couldn't come though however, flying out to shallow left field to end the game.
"We battled our butts off. We got a chance, but it didn't work out," Bill Hood manager Chris Westcott said. "We told him to look for one pitch — middle-in. The kid on the mound did a good job keeping the ball away from him, then threw a good change up, and Zach missed it."
Bill Hood squandered a golden chance to strike first in the contest in the top of the fifth inning.
Miller led the inning off with a single but was quickly picked off by D-BAT starting pitcher Drew Gooch.
Two of the next three batters for Bill Hood recorded singles but were left stranded as the pitchers' duel continued.
In total, Bill Hood outhit D-BAT 9-2 in the loss.
"We got a bunch of hits, but no timely hits," Westcott said. "A lot of times, we had guys on base and needed a big hit, and it didn't happen."
Jensen Elliott got the win on the mound in relief of Gooch after throwing 1 2/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits.
Gooch got a no decision after five shutout innings, allowing six hits while striking out three and walking zero.
Graffeo took the loss, surrendering just two hits in six innings.
"Westcott does a good job with that team. I knew that pitcher was going to be tough as hell," Leach said.
Bill Hood pitchers have allowed just three hits in 13 innings during the CMWS.
Both teams will be back in action today.
D-BAT Leach will face a familiar opponent in D-BAT Gallegos in the day's nightcap.
The teams played a couple of times during the summer, and Leach said both squads know each other well.
"It's going to come down to who plays well," Leach said. "It was two tight games with a bunch of good players on the field."
A meeting with the Midland Redskins awaits the winner of the D-BAT duel.
This is the second time in three years two D-BAT teams have faced off in the CMWS.
In 2012, D-BAT Carpenter defeated D-BAT Dow 12-7.
Bill Hood will face elimination against the Carolina Vaqueros at 5:15 p.m. Carolina has been off since its opening game loss to Frozen Ropes on Friday.
"What's got us here is pitching. That's what it's going to take tomorrow," Westcott said.