FARMINGTON – Thanks to relentless speed, the Midland Redskins fulfilled their destiny as Connie Mack World Series champions.
They kept the motor running throughout the tournament and didn’t stop pushing today, cruising to an 11-0 mercy rule-win over the Danville Hoots at Ricketts Park in the championship game.
"It's awesome, man. I started young being a bat boy and watching them win it. Now, I'm actually here. This feeling is amazing," said pitcher Chase Silseth, a Farmington native who pitched Midland to victory on Saturday.
The Redskins won their first CMWS title since 2011, their 15th overall in program history.
“They’re family, and they played their tails off and have done it from Day One,” coach Dave Evans said.
Right out of the gate, Midland was off and running.
In the top of the first, with leadoff hitter Cam Hill on first base, Cal Conley reached on a fielding error, and Hill bolted all the way home.
Later, in the top of the fourth, Midland hitters opened the floodgates.
After Nick Jodway delivered an RBI single to left field, Damon Dues ripped a two-run double down the right-field line and then scored off an error.
When Midland retired the Hoots without damage in the bottom of the fifth, the Redkins dog-piled just to the right of the pitcher's mound.
"It's one of the best feelings I've had in a long time," said pitcher Ben Dragani, the 2017 CMWS Most Valuable Player. "All our guys are really fast, aggressive. That's part of the reason we're an awesome team."
The jumping and screams of joy soon were accompanied by tears and bear hugs.
“I can’t stop crying. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Conley said, with his eyes red and watery.
While some quickly absorbed the moment, it was still setting in for others.
"It's just unreal to me right now. It's going to take time to kick in," Silseth said. "It's been a long journey, and it's been an awesome run."
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.