FARMINGTON — One in nine. Those are the odds 4-Corners head coach Brett Alexander says his team has of making it through the city league tournament and host this year's Connie Mack World Series.
Technically Alexander is right. His squad is one of nine teams vying to host the annual tournament, but 4-Corners is one of the favorites to advance.
"Obviously everyone is going to have a good lineup," Alexander said. "The top three or four teams are all going to have a good lineup and a good defense."
During 4-Corners' opening game Thursday evening at Ricketts Park, Alexander's team showed they have the bats and the defense to advance.
After the game Alexander said he was happy with the team's performance, but was also willing to admit there were some aspects that needed to be cleaned up during the course of the season.
He credited the miscues to the fact that most of the players haven't played since the high school season ended a couple weeks ago and a lack of team chemistry as a lot of his players haven't played together.
"That will come," said recent Piedra Vista graduate Matt Martin, who started at shortstop for 4-Corners of the team's cohesiveness. "We were a little rusty today, but we've just got to bond. We haven't really spent much time together but that will come."
Despite the lack of time on the field together the 4-Corners' defense was able to turn some heads-up plays, including a double play in the fourth when third baseman Jacob Turcotte, who just finished his junior year at La Cueva, cut off the throw from left field following a sacrifice fly and snapping the ball to second base to catch a tagging baserunner in limbo for the double play.
"It just kind of shows the IQ of this team," Alexander said. "Everyone is kind of thinking on the same page and that right there just tells me that we'll be fine. You put a bunch of good ball players together, they all understand the game and what to do in each situation, and as the season goes on, we are only going to gel even better."
With the talent and high baseball IQ that makes up the 4-Corners' roster, it's no surprise the team is one of the favorites to advance. And what's even more impressive is the fact that some of the team's top players are yet to join the team.
"We're missing about four kids who we are going to have here in the next couple of weeks," Alexander said. "It will be exciting to see what this group can do. Locally we have some of the best talent."
This season also saw a change in uniform for some of the 4-Corners players. A handful of kids who played for last year's host team Strike Zone made the jump to 4-Corners for this season.
"I don't push kids to play anywhere," Alexander said. "The biggest thing is just getting kids who want to play ball and finding them a place to play. Getting those guys is going to be a huge help. They're extremely gifted ball players and it's going to be fun to coach them this summer."
One of the players who made the switch was Martin, who said he wanted the chance to play for his high school coach Mike McGaha, who has been managing the 4-Corners team for years.
"He's always been there, and I just decided to play with him," Martin said of making the jump. "It's a big change. But these are a good group of guys, and I'm looking forward to play with them."
Despite adding new players to bolster the lineup and strengthen the defense for a CMWS run, Alexander said the team that makes it through to host the series will really come down to one thing.
"It's all about who has the best arm on that day," Alexander said. "Hopefully we'll have the best one at the end of the season, and hopefully we'll be there."