Enid Majors remain unbeaten heading into CMWS Finals
FARMINGTON — Friday night's 9-0 victory by the Enid Majors over the Colton Nighthawks, punctuated emphatically by the walkoff home run from Ian Daugherty to end the game after a 6 inning run rule, was another example of a team dominating their circumstances.
Enid, the lone unbeaten team heading into the finals, to be played July 31, have answered virtually every challenge thrown their way.
They've even managed to win the challenges they put on the umpiring crew.
The defining moment of their Friday night victory came early in the contest. With nobody out and leadoff hitter Bryce Logan on first base in the bottom of the first inning, Cayden Brumbaugh appeared to be tagged out on a close play at first base. Enid coach Kris Webb challenged the call on the field. After video review, the umpires reversed the call, leaving two runners on with nobody out.
"That's what we do. We trust each other on the field," Webb said after the game which puts Enid into the finals needing only one win to grab the 2021 CMWS title. "My coaches felt it was a missed call, and we took a chance and it paid off."
That's an understatement.
Carson Benge, the next batter, walked to load the bases. Daugherty flew out to right field, scoring Bryce Logan from third before Ty Hammack got on board when a lazy fly ball to Nighthawks left fielder Scotty Young got past him under his glove, allowing Brumbaugh to score.
Will Edmunson was next, and his double to the gap in left center field plated Benge. Hammack scored two batters later when Zandt Payne's sharp grounder to Nighthawks first baseman Jordan Ruiz resulted in an out, but also came at a price when Ruiz' throw home to catcher Danny Briones for an attempted double play was late.
As the first inning came to an end, Enid had grabbed a 4-0 lead and all the momentum they would need.
From there, it was the Keaton Ruthardt show. The Majors starting pitcher allowed threw a no-hitter for 5 1/3 innings before being pulled by Webb to get the final two outs.
Ruthardt struck out five, walked three and played with a commanding lead much of the way.
Enid scored three more runs in the second inning, extending their lead to a point where the final result seemed more obvious as the game went along.
Daugherty put an exclamation point on the win for the Majors in the bottom of the sixth, launching a pitch from Rheego McIntosh over the wall in left-center field, putting the game into run-rule territory.
D-BAT UNITED 4, Midland 1
Dallas' D-Bat United squad will play for the 2021 Connie Mack World Championship on July 31, after eliminating three-time defending champion Midland by a final of 4-1.
D-Bat United, coached by Ryan Bonesio, knocks out a Midland squad that may be the most historically significant amateur baseball team in the history of the tournament, having captured the CMWS title 16 times.
Breaking a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning, Zach Hudspeth opened the scoring with an RBI single just over the glove of Midland second baseman Chris Moore into short right center field, scoring Gavin Glasgow from second.
Midland starting pitcher Ethan McElvain's wild pitch resulted in Jason Hawkins scrambling home from third, giving United a 2-0 lead and advancing Hudspeth to second.
But D-Bat United wasn't done from there.
Hudspeth sprinted home from second after an RBI triple off the bat of Hudson White. McElvain then surrendered another wild pitch, which White took off on from third, narrowly escaping the tag at the plate and giving D-Bat a 4-0 lead.
McElvain was pulled from the game, replaced on the mound by Brian McBroom, who finished the inning unblemished. But the damage was already done.
Offensively, Midland's shining moment in the top of the fifth inning, when third baseman Dub Gleed powered a solo home run over the wall in center field.
Midland had a golden opportunity to do more damage in the top of the sixth inning with bases loaded and only one out, but Jacob Gutierrez struck out and Will Rogers flew out to the second baseman in short right center field ending the threat.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680