FARMINGTON— The Strike Zone Fuel will host the 2014 Nolan Ryan World Series after handling the Bloomfield Angels 14-0 Saturday morning at the Farmington Sports Complex.
The Fuel are the first Farmington team to host the NRWS, which is amateur baseball's 13-and-under division and will be held July 26 through Aug. 2 at the Farmington Sports Complex.
With the win the Strike Zone Fuel become the most decorated team in Farmington history, qualifying for its sixth American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series.
"They've been a very strong supporter of the AABC and obviously someone Farmington should be very, very proud of," said Richard Neely, the president of the AABC. "It's a great organization with great coaching and great kids."
The 2014 NRWS is the third AABC World Series to be held in Farmington, joining the 1963 Babe Ruth World Series and the Connie Mack World Series, which has been held in Farmington every summer since 1965. The hosting of the NRWS only adds to Farmington's reputation as the Amateur Baseball Capital of America, a title Sports Illustrated gave the city in 1964.
"The Nolan Ryan World Series is a very, very competitive and good world series for under-13 baseball players, and it should provide a tremendous amount of revenue to the city," Neely said. "It's a good opportunity for the local fans to see some very talented teams."
Teams from across the U.S. will join the Fuel in the NRWS bracket, including the Midland Redskins 13-and-under team, which will be made up of many of the program's 12-and-under players from last year who qualified for the 2013 Little League World Series, and the Las Cruces team the Redskins beat to earn the LLWS bid.
Fuel head coach Kim Carpenter said he is looking forward to seeing his team compete against the best teams in the country while serving as ambassadors to Farmington and San Juan County.
"This is not just about representing the Strike Zone, it is about representing a county and the team is up for the challenge," said Carpenter, who coached the Fuel to a 62-16 record entering the Series.
The magnitude of being the host team for Farmington's first NRWS may not be fully understood by kids no older than 13, but it is a privilege they won't forget.
"For some of them it will probably be the first time they've played in front of someone other than their mom and dad," Neely said. "They'll actually have some fans because Farmington always comes out to watch good baseball. I anticipate packed stands out at the Sports Complex to watch these kids. It's something that they'll always remember. Always."