FARMINGTON — D-BAT Leach defeated the Midland Redskins 3-2 on a walk-off single by Luke Hoyl as the Texas squad overcame a dominant pitching performance by Midland's Wyatt Short.
Midland, the Ohio-based winner of five of the past nine Connie Mack World Series championships, was sent home and D-BAT advanced.
The game had no score until the top of the fifth inning, when Midland plated two runs on a single by shortstop Jake Richmond, followed two batters later by a double to the left field wall from second baseman Zach Beckner that scored Richmond. A single by center fielder Andrew Benintendi set up a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Zach Shannon that brought home Beckner.
D-BAT, of Dallas, answered in the bottom of the sixth with two runs to tie it. Third baseman Will Fox took a pitch in the shoulder and advanced to second on a Kramer Robertson bloop single to center. Both scored on a triple by catcher Jake Rogers.
D-BAT won in the bottom of the seventh with a Hunter Courson single, a Bryant Collier walk and a single slapped to second base by Hoyl. The Midland defense created a hole on the right side of the infield with a bunt shift that Hoyl exploited. Hoyl was mobbed by his teammates on the infield grass after the game.
Hoyl said the single was "definitely the biggest hit of my career."
D-BAT coach Pat Leach praised Hoyl as a "prototypical grinder, Everyday Eddie baseball player."
"He'd do whatever the team needed," Leach said.
Midland's loss wasted Short's pitching performance that suffocated D-BAT's lineup for most of the game. Short had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings when Robertson's bloop found the outfield grass. Short then gave up Rogers' hard-hit triple.
"Wyatt Short was phenomenal," Midland coach Dave Evans said. "He threw a heck of a ballgame. They got a little bloop in there, and they get one up in the wind -- it's a shame. ... He was in total control."
Short, a 5-foot-10-inch lefty hurler from Southaven, Miss., is committed to Mississippi. Although the sixth inning ruined his chances for a Connie Mack baseball no-hitter, Short said he tossed a no-hitter in high school play this spring.
Evans said a lack of timely hitting and inability to get bunts down cost Midland the opportunity to advance.
The victory over Midland was a major win for the D-BAT program, said Leach.
"It's sweet, (Midland is) one of the best organizations in the country year in and year out," Leach said. "It's a big win to beat a great team like that."