Florida Legends stamp their ticket to Connie Mack World Series
FARMINGTON — The Florida Legends became the first team to earn a spot in next month's Connie Mack World Series, sweeping their competition last week in a regional tournament held in Tennessee.
The Legends, coached by Carlos Marti and based out of Miami, will be making their fifth consecutive trip to Farmington this summer. Last year, the team was eliminated by the Midland baseball team.
The Legends defeated the United Baseball Club, based out of Dallas, Texas by a final of 10-1, to earn their way into the 2022 World Series. The regional tournament included the Nashville Knights, also hoping for a berth in next month's annual event held at Ricketts Park.
This is the earliest the Legends have qualified for the Connie Mack World Series. Recent changes announced last spring to regional tournament schedules has made it possible for teams to earn their spot in the world series.
"It's different for sure, but it gives us time to focus on the team and keep everyone healthy," Marti said. "I think it's going to help us in the long term."
Among the top performers on the Legends this season are second baseman Roylan Quevedo, who drove in seven runs during the recent six-game regional tournament. Quevedo, who played last spring for Miami Christian High School, recorded a .390 batting average in his senior season and has already signed a commitment letter to Florida International University.
As a member of the Legends, Quevedo has a batting average of .391 and has driven in nine runs through 10 games.
"(Quevedo) might be the best second baseman we've ever had on the team," Marti said. "He's been flawless all season at that spot."
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Pitchers David Davila and Robert Rodriguez have also made solid contributions to the Legends this season. Rodriguez struck out eight batters in a five-inning, run-rule victory over Columbia (Tenn.) Post 19 during last week's tournament. The 17-year old from Doral Academy is considered one of the team's leading prospects.
Davila, a commit to Florida State University, threw the opening game of the tournament for the Legends and gave up only two hits to the Knights, striking out five over the course of four innings in an 8-0 victory.
Christian Rodriguez, who earned the win in the championship game over UBC, and has also signed a letter of intent to play collegiate baseball at the University of Florida, has been a dual threat for the Legends.
Rodriguez currently has a batting average of .400 with 10 extra base hits and seven RBI's in 10 games played while also registering 10 strikeouts in two appearances on the hill.
"He might be the best two-way player we've had on this team in a long time," Marti said of Christian. "He hits the ball with power and what he did on the mound in that championship game was impressive."
In all, the Legends roster currently boasts 10 active players who've already signed a national letter of intent to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I rosters next season.
The Legends, who have a 12-1 record on the current season, outscored their six opponents in the most recent regional tournament by a combined margin of 54-10 and will be taking some time off to accommodate for high school graduations before their next competition.
"They earned a little break, that's for sure," Marti said. "They're all pretty exhausted after these first few weeks, but it's great to have the qualifying out of the way so we get ready for the trip to Farmington."
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.