Enid Majors cruise past D-Bat United as Connie Mack World Series continues
FARMINGTON – The Enid Majors play the game of baseball with what some would call a ruthless aggression.
They make plays at the plate, they run the bases with fearless tenacity and they take advantage of opponents' miscues.
A combination of all three of those tactics was on full display Thursday night as the Majors remained the lone unbeaten team in the 2021 Connie Mack World Series with a 10-2, 5-inning run rule romp over the previously unbeaten D-Bat United. They advanced into the semifinals with an unblemished record and an inside track to their first CMWS title.
Behind a solid pitching performance from starter Matthew Holzhammer, who overcame some early trouble before going the distance, the Majors scratched out eight hits and took advantage of two costly United errors on their way to another decisive win.
In their four games since bracket play started last Sunday, the Majors have outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 45-10. Counting two wins in pool play, Enid has scored 74 runs in six total tournament games while giving up only 18.
In their last two games, they’ve surrendered only two runs and given up six hits while using only three pitchers in the process.
Holzhammer gave up a pair of runners in the top of the first inning as D-Bat took advantage of a run-scoring wild pitch to Gavin Glasgow, allowing Hudson White to hustle home from third base. Tavion Vaughns scored later in the inning as Holzhammer seemed to have a little trouble settling down.
“I was terrified in the first inning,” said Majors coach Kris Webb. “But he settled in and pitched like a bulldog.”
The Majors made that process a little easier, answering back with four runs in the top of the second inning, led by William Edmunson, who got the scoring going with an RBI single, scoring Ty Hammack. That was followed two batters later when Zandt Payne cleared the bases with a 2-run triple that plated both Edmunson and Drake Kerr. The Majors tacked on one more run in the inning when Payne scored from third on a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Majors more than likely secured the win in the bottom of the second inning. Holzhammer gave up a leadoff triple to Ian Collier, which was followed up by Holzhammer hitting Whit Thoms with a pitch in the back. With two on and nobody out, D-Bat had a golden opportunity to seize the momentum.
Instead, Collier chose to remain on third when Luke Kirkbride hit into a fielders’ choice from first when Edmunson forced Thoms at second. The following batter, Hudson White hit into a double play to shortstop Cayden Brumbaugh to end the threat.
The floodgates opened from that point on.
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United starting pitcher Evan Hebert opened the fourth inning giving up back-to-back base hits to Edmunson and Kerr before being replaced on the mound by Cadyn Copeland. The Majors jumped all over Copeland. Payne reached first on a throwing error by Copeland on a ground ball back to the mound, loading the bases before Edmunson and Kerr both scored on a throwing error at second base by Logan, extending the Majors lead to 6-2.
“We want to be the aggressor as often as possible,” Webb said after the game. “We don’t want to leave anything out there. We want to take advantage of every opportunity that we can.”
The Majors scored four more times in the fifth inning, with Daugherty doing most of the damage with a 2-RBI double scoring both Carson Benge and Brumbaugh.
That was followed by Hammack getting into the act, driving home Daugherty with a double of his own. Hammack scored later in the frame on a fly ball to right field to close out the scoring.
“They’re a really good lineup. They balance and they flow off each other,” Webb said. “They’re in there to compete and win.”
COLTON NIGHTHAWKS 9, Southern California Renegades 1
FARMINGTON – Two teams from California entered the 2021 Connie Mack World Series this week at Ricketts Park.
After Thursday night’s 9-1 victory by the Colton Nighthawks over the Southern California Renegades, the Golden State is down to one representative.
Colton used clutch hitting in the first, third and fifth innings to go along with another bout of fielding errors which plagued the Renegades not only Thursday, but also the night before in a blowout loss to the Enid Majors.
The Nighthawks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, thanks to Ali Camarillo’s RBI single, driving in Scotty Young. That was followed up by Camarillo being plated by Jordan Ruiz’ RBI single to center.
The Renegades halved the gap in the bottom of the second inning when Caleb Lomavita scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt of a double steal attempt. Camarillo aired the throw home to the left of catcher of Danny Briones, allowing the run to score.
Colton added a pair of runs in the top of the third while also forcing Renegades head coach Si Pettrow to pull starting pitcher Ryan Brown, who surrendered four runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
The Renegades committed three errors in the Thursday contest, adding to the 6 they were charged for in Wednesday night's loss to the Majors.
Meantime, Nighthawks starting pitcher Izeah Muniz threw a gem, throwing a complete game 6 innings and giving up only one run on five hits while striking out 4 Renegades and allowing only one walk. The 17-year-old commit to Cal State Fullerton threw only 77 pitches, saving the rest of the pitching staff for the remainder of the tournament.
The Renegades exit the tournament with a record of 4-3, having been outscored in their last two losses by a margin of 23-1.
MIDLAND 13, Nashville Knights 5
FARMINGTON — Once in awhile, you get to see a pitching performance that drops you.
That was the case Thursday afternoon at Ricketts Park, as the Midland Baseball Team stayed alive in the consolation bracket when starting pitcher Kaleb Applebey turned in one of the best performances of the tournament in a dominant 13-5, run-rule, 5-inning win over the Nashville Knights.
Applebey went 4 1/3 innings, surrendering only five hits and two runs while striking out 6 Knights hitters in the process. On the other side of the diamond, Midland's bats were equally as effective, getting strong performances from a number of key contributors.
For the second night in a row, Midland's bats came to life. After putting up 10 runs over the Florida Legends in an elimination game on Wednesday, Midland (4-1) scored in every inning during the Thursday match, getting an 8-0 lead before Nashville could even put a run on the board.
Will Rogers drove in a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to get the scoring started for Midland. Two batters later, Rogers himself crossed home plate off another 2-RBI hit by Josh Overbeek.
It was more of the same for Midland in the bottom of the second inning, as Boston Smith scored from first base on an RBI double off the bat of Owen Washburn. Jacob Gutierrez also got into the action, driving in Washburn before Dub Gleed continued his big series with a 2-RBI single which drove in Gutierrez and Chris Moore.
Applebey gave up a pair of runs in the third inning, serving as his only real blemish for the game. Nashville plated both Brantley Bamberg and Ethan Harden to trim the lead to 8-2, albeit briefly.
Midland scored in the bottom of the inning when Lauden Brooks scampered home from third on a wild pitch from Parker McCauley.
They would add four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to seal the deal.
The Knights did manage three runs in the top half of the fifth inning as Applebey started to lose some of his control on the mound. Jackson Soucie filled in the remaining dots to secure the win and allow Midland to play another day. Nashville exits the series with a record of 3-3 in both pool play and bracket competition.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.