FARMINGTON — With their backs up against the wall, the Sting gave Easton Haskill the ball in hopes of reaching the next stage of the Connie Mack City Tournament.
Haskill delivered, pitching a complete game against the Aces to help deliver the Sting a 6-2 win. The Aces became the first team eliminated from the tournament, dashing their hopes of hosting the 2013 Connie Mack World Series.
"Haskill has been one of our guys this summer who has stepped up," said Sting head coach Tim Trotter. "We needed a win to keep playing, so you had to go with the best you got. He did a good job."
Haskill gave up eight hits and was charged with two runs, both coming in the second inning for the Aces as they led off with two singles and took advantage of a Sting error.
Haskill struck out four and issued just one walk.
"I just went out there and threw my game. I filled up the strike zone and relied on my defense," Haskill said. "I threw strikes and got groundball and fly ball outs. I felt like I could trust my stuff. I like how the coaches call pitches, and I trust my catcher to block balls breaking in the dirt. I felt confident."
Haskill took it upon himself to throw a complete game to help save some pitching for today's 5:30 p.m. elimination game against 4-Corners.
The Sting led the majority of the game after tying 2-2 in the bottom of the second. Bryce Washburn led off the inning with a double and eventually scored on a Chris Moore single. Moore later scored on an Aces throwing error on a dropped third strike that would have ended the inning.
The Sting scored four more runs in the third as Ethan Spellbring led off with a triple and scored on a Washburn single. Tyler Stock later scored on a Moore single, and Haskill would come around to score on a wild pitch.
"We worked this morning after seeing (Ian) Doughty last night against Strike Zone," Trotter said. "Doughty was at his best in awhile, and we wanted to get the wood going quickly today. They threw a lot of off-speed, and I think we did pretty good with it."
The Aces were eliminated with the loss, while the Sting will face 4-Corners in the next round. 4-Corners is coming off a 9-0 loss Tuesday to the DC MOB.
"I think we can get them and come out on top if we swing it one through nine," Trotter said. "If we can get strikes out of our starter, we can compete."John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.