Frackers win Stan Musial World Series
FARMINGTON — The Farmington Frackers are world series champions.
The Frackers, in their first year of existence, blew through the bracket at the Stan Musial World Series this week in Seattle and wrapped up an undefeated tournament with a 6-3 victory over Seattle's En Fuego today.
"It's pretty cool. We're bringing (the title) back for Farmington," Frackers coach Jared Holley said.
From the start of the season, ending their first game with a walk-off win, the buzz around the Frackers was that they were good, but no one knew exactly what to expect or how good they'd be over the course of the season.
"First of all, it's phenomenal what they did — one loss for the entire year is great," said Richard Neely, one of the team's founders. "For us, who put this thing together, we couldn't ask for anything better."
The SMWS win is the second for a Farmington based team. Neely said a Farmington team won the AABC's 9U world series a few years ago, but said the tournament's field was almost all Farmington teams.
Holley said starting pitcher Larry Leitha set the tone of the game in the top of the first inning, striking out the first batter he faced, then got the next two batters to ground out.
The Frackers offense rode the wave of momentum into the bottom of the inning and saw Jeff Deimling blast a two-run home run.
"They were really excited. We had to tell them to stop talking so much trash," Holley said. "They came ready to play. They were so excited and pumped up from the first inning. It was pretty cool to see."
The Frackers took a 6-0 lead into the top of the seventh when the nerves of being on the verge of winning the series started to kick in. They gave up three runs in the seventh, allowing a home run, then committing two errors that led to two runs.
"I'm sure there were some nerves. The mood was pretty easy going into the last inning, and we just told the guys to go get the last three outs," Holley said. "But we gave up the home run, then they got the bases loaded with two outs, and it turned into a three-run lead, and the bases were still loaded. We kind of looked around and said, 'Oh, man, here it comes. We're going to need some late-inning Frackers magic.' But Sean (Maher) struck out the last guy to end it."
The Frackers got breakout performances from Farmington native Logan Klunder and Bayfield, Colo., product Zane Phelps. Holley said that at the start of the season Klunder and Phelps were two of the weaker spots in the lineup, but over the course of the season, they showed great development and both hit around .500 over the course of the week.
Holley and the Frackers are already looking forward to next season.
"We're definitely going to do it again next year," Holley said, "and we're going to be even better than we were this year."
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.