FARMINGTON— Every team participating in the Connie Mack regular season is eligible to host the 50th annual Connie Mack World Series. And while the Pack doesn't carry the depth or firepower through the lineup that other teams have, they fully expect to push their opponents to the limit and even host the Series.
"I'm hoping to make it to the Connie Mack World Series," said Pack third baseman Alex Sanchez. "I think we have the talent to do it."
The Pack is a mixed team made up of players from Cortez, Colo., Kirtland, Aztec and a few Piedra Vista kids.
"We're a young team so we want to go out and have a lot more fun," said Pack coach Vance Aspaas. "We don't have the strong team that a lot of these teams have, but we're going to go out there and do what we got to do to compete and get better throughout the season."
One of the ways Aspaas said he thinks his team will be able to challenge some of the more powerful teams is through the Packs aggressive style of play. The plan is to have the Pack attack on any slight miscues from their opponent.
"We're going to go out there and be aggressive as much as we can," Aspaas said. "Every pitch, whether we are on base, on first and second, or on third, we're going to try to do a lot more hit and runs and squeezes and move runners and score runners."
With the young team, Aspaas is looking to Sanchez, who will be a senior at Kirtland Central this fall, as well as Konnar McGee and Dayne Black, who will both be seniors at Montezuma-Cortez High in the fall, to be the team's leaders.
"They are going to be our three main guys out there. They'll be leaders on the field, at the plate and in the dugout," Aspaas said.
Sanchez likes the idea of being a team leader and having the other players look to him, saying he thinks he will thrive in the leadership position.
While Sanchez hopes to see the season end in August at the CMWS, Aspaas said the season will be considered a success if the team can improve on all the fundamentals. He wants to see a better approach in the batter's box, which will lead to more hits. He also wants his pitching staff to be more consistent, which will allow fewer runs to be scored against the Pack.
"And just eliminate all the mental errors that we have," Aspaas said. "Just continue to make the routine plays that we should and it will be a smooth, smooth season after that."