FARMINGTON — The 4C-Clubsox kept their Connie Mack World Series host team hopes alive, sending Naa'taanii packing with a 6-2 win in an elimination game in the Connie Mack City Tournament at Thursday at Ricketts Park.
The Clubsox put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the second, scoring six runs to take a commanding lead.
"We saw that kid (Naa'taanii pitcher Neil Evans) once early in the season, and we rolled over a lot, so we talked a lot about getting up on the plate and using the right side of the field," Clubsox coach Brett Alexander said. "The bottom of the lineup did a great job in that inning getting us started and starting that rally. That's what we've been lacking the last few days, so it was nice to see some consistency throughout the lineup."
Tray Franks got things going when his drive to right got under the glove of a diving Brandon Larson, scoring Tyler Archuleta from third and putting runners on second and third.
In the next at-bat, Wyatt Weaver drove in two more runs to push the lead to 3-0.
After Kody Russell hit a flare to shallow center, Chris Moore belted a shot to left that hit off the top of the wall and bounced over for a three-run home run.
Through three innings, Clubsox starting pitcher Phillip Archuleta shut the Naa'taanii bats down, giving up a leadoff single in the top of the first before retiring the next eight batters.
"I've seen that kid pitch since he was sophomore at (Piedra Vista High), and he's just a big-game pitcher," Alexander said of Archuleta. "You look at him, and he's just this little guy, and you think, 'There's no way this kid is going to beat us.' But he goes out there and dices you up. He did a good job mixing up pitches, hitting his locations. He did everything I asked him to do."
Naa'taanii got its offense going in the fourth, putting together a two-out rally of its own with Jesus Chavez delivering a two-RBI single. Naa'taanii continued to threaten in the inning, with Daniel Barela drawing a walk to load the bases, but Clubsox pitcher Phillip Archuleta got Larson to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
The win ends Naa'taanii's season with the Clubsox advancing to play the Sting at 5:30 p.m. today at Ricketts Park.
"We preach it all the time, you've got to play the game," Alexander said. "It's a funny game where funny things happen. We've just got to come to the park tomorrow and play the game the right way, and good things will happen."