CMWS 2015: Midland rallies for 8-4 win against Dallas Mustangs in Game 10
FARMINGTON — The Midland Redskins seem to have a flare for the dramatic in this year's Connie Mack World Series.
After edging Youth Service League 3-2 in their Connie Mack opener, the Cincinnati-based Redskins (42-3) put together a seven-run rally in the seventh inning to knock off the Dallas Mustangs 8-4 in Game 10 of the series Monday afternoon at Ricketts Park.
"We've played 14 innings and scored in three of them. We had a big, big seventh inning," Midland coach Dave Evans said. "I'm really proud of the kids for the way they came back in the seventh. It wasn't one guy; it was the whole team."
The Mustangs (38-13-1) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when designated hitter Grant Reuben came up with an RBI single to score Brendan Venter.
In the bottom of the fourth, Mustangs' Peyton Grassanovits executed the hit and run perfectly, hitting a flare single into right field. Jake Baker got a jump on the hit and run call and touched home, pushing the Dallas lead to 2-0. But the Mustangs ended the inning by stranding runners on the corners.
"We made some defensive plays to stop what they had going for them," Dallas coach Sam Carpenter said. "The defense was working well, and our guys were hitting, but, as the game went on, we kept leaving our guys in scoring position."
Midland got on the board in the top of the fifth.
With two outs and Ethan Stringer on first base, Ethan Skender hit a triple to the wall in right center, scoring Stringer and cutting the Dallas lead to 2-1.
Dallas picked up two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend its lead to 4-1. After the Mustangs worked the bases loaded with one away, Baker drew a walk to push across the first run. In the next at-bat, Grassanovits was hit in the head with a 93 mph fastball to score the second run. After being hit, Grassanovits received attention from the training staff, but stayed in the game and made his way to first to load the bases.
In the next at-bat, Midland got Nick Thornquist to ground into a double play to end the inning, again leaving runners in scoring position.
"We didn't play great defense today," Evans said. "(Starting pitcher Deviner) McCray did a pretty nice job, but we struggled a little bit with our relievers and throwing strikes."
Midland threatened in the top of the sixth inning, getting runners on second and third with no outs, but Dallas shut down the next three batters to get out of the jam.
But the Redskins didn't let any more chances go to waste.
After Skender doubled to put runners on second and third with one out, Ty Duvall came through with an RBI single to start the rally in the seventh.
After the Duvall single, Dallas made a pitching change and brought in Cole Hearrean. On his first pitch, Midland's Luke Shilling hit the ball to left field for an RBI single, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
After Stephen Scott drew a walk to load the bases, Hayden Singer hit a ground ball to short that looked to be a routine double play, aimed at getting Dallas out of the inning and at locking up the win.
But Mustangs shortstop Nolan Richie bobbled the ball and couldn't record an out. Duvall scored one run on the play, tying the game at 4-4 and keeping the bases loaded.
Peyton Burdick and Utah Jones came up with back-to-back RBI singles to give Midland a 6-4 lead. Then Luke Waddell hit a two-RBI single to extend the lead to 8-4.
Dallas had a chance to answer in the bottom of the seventh and got a lead-off double from Nic Motley, but Midland's Riley Cabral retired the next three batters to cinch the win.
"We had a chance to put them away, and we didn't, and they took that opportunity and beat us over the head with it," Carpenter said.
With the win, Midland receives a much-needed bye into the fifth round.
"Today, we used 19 of our 22 guys," Evans said. "It's good for us to get the bye because if we lost this game we would have been in jail. To come back tomorrow against a really good team would have been really, really tough. Getting that bye really helps us get into the final six."
The Mustangs will drop into the loser's bracket and will play the East Cobb Yankees (50-5) at 5:15 p.m. today.
Leading batter: Ethan Skender, 1B, 2B, 3B, RBI
WP: Riley Cabral
Leading batter: Peyton Grassanovits, 1B 2 RBIs
LP: Cole Hearrean