FARMINGTON — The DC MOB started the summer with dreams of hosting the Connie Mack World Series, but those dreams came to end Friday night at the hands of a young Rivercats squad.
The Rivercats scored a pair of runs in the sixth and seventh innings to complete a come-from-behind win and eliminate the MOB 5-4 at Ricketts Park.
"It's sour. We all play for the same reason -- to host the Connie Mack World Series. We fell short," said MOB head coach Ponch Garcia. "We started good. The kids were hungry. We came into the game aggressive, then we thought we had it. We just kind of a sat back and didn't do what we're supposed to. They hung around and did their job."
The Rivercats entered the top of the sixth inning with a 4-1 deficit, but they were able to load the bases off of MOB starter Frankie Gutierrez with one out. Darren Hoselton came in to relieve Gutierrez but immediately gave up a bloop single to Tyler Williamson, scoring Tyler Archuleta.
Gunner Archuleta then drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs to score Kody Russell and cut the MOB lead to 4-3.
"We were just able to scratch something out. It was nothing spectacular," said Rivercats head coach Lars Baker.
The MOB were unable to add onto the lead in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Rivercats one more chance to come back.
Hoselton allowed a single by Wyatt Weaver and walked Tyler Archuleta, before getting pulled in favor of Clay Miller.
The Rivercats quickly tied the game at 4, when Miller, a 35th round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals, threw a pitch past catcher Isiah Mayberry. In an attempt to throw Weaver out at third base, Mayberry's throw sailed into left field, allowing Weaver to score and Archuleta to advance to third.
"That was huge," Baker said. "I didn't ever see Clay Miller go to the bullpen to warm up, so he came in cold."
Kody Russell then squeezed a single through the right side of the infield off of Miller to score Archuleta and give the Rivercats their first lead of the game at 5-4.
"Everybody talks about how fast Clay throws. When I saw that first pitch I thought, 'Yeah, that is pretty fast,'" said Russell, who went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs in the win. "I just wanted to try to get a piece of it. I worked to a 3-2 count and was expecting his slider because he's pretty good with that, but it was a fastball and I was able to get it through."
The MOB had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Gerardo Martinez laced a double to the center field wall with two outs.
The MOB comeback hopes ended, however, on the next batter when Matthew Knickerbocker popped out to shallow center field.
The Rivercats fell into an early hole, allowing three MOB runs in the second inning and another in the fourth, but MOB base-running errors cost the team a chance to put the game away early.
"We just didn't execute the mental part of the game today," Garcia said. "We were too aggressive out there."
Logan Klunder earned the win for the Rivercats, pitching three innings of scoreless relief while allowing just one hit.
Hoselton took the loss for the MOB after allowing two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
The Rivercats will advance to play Strike Zone at either 5:30 or 8 p.m. today pending the outcome of Strike Zone's rain-delayed game with Naa'taanii.
"We have to catch every ball that's hit to us, and, hopefully, we can hang around long enough to scare them a bit," Baker said.
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.