FARMINGTON — It was far from pretty, but it didn’t matter for EnFuego Elite as the Seattle-based team did enough to pick up a 12-7 win over Puerto Rico’s MFP Arecibo in Game 4 of the Connie Mack World Series today at Ricketts Park.
The game lasted three hours from first pitch to the final out, and the two teams combined for 12 errors.
Arecibo’s struggles were evident early as the team committed five errors, walked seven batters and hit another en route to 11 runs on three hits in the first two innings.
"I thought we were very fortunate to get 11 runs on the board in the first two innings on just three hits," EnFuego coach Steve Avila said. "Puerto Rico is a very talented team, and I’m sure they’ll bounce back, and I think we were very fortunate to get out of here with a win."
Avila said the win for EnFuego was the first win for a Northwest-based team at the world series in 39 years.
Arecibo got off to a rough start before the game’s first pitch was thrown after starting pitcher Jose Cruz was a late scratch, and Luis Quinonez took the mound on short notice. Quinonez walked the first three batters and was pulled in favor of Cruz.
It didn’t get better for Cruz, who walked his first batter, pushing in a run, and then saw the defense commit errors on back-to-back batters, which scored one run each to make it 3-0. With the bases loaded and no outs, Cruz hit the next batter to give up another run. Arecibo finally got on the right side of things, turning a 6-4-3 double play, but another run scored on the play pushed EnFuego’s lead to 5-0.
Arecibo responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs on a bases-loaded two-out single from Emmanuell Garcia.
But Arecibo’s pitching woes continued in the top of the second. In the inning, the team walked three batters, gave up three hits, committed two errors and allowed a run on a passed ball. In total, EnFuego came away with six runs in the inning, extending its lead to 11-2 on just three hits in the two innings.
Arecibo coach Jose Viera said he thought his team played with nervous energy at the start of the game.
"We lost that game in two innings. I really don’t know what happened. I think they were a little nervous of the setting," Viera said.
Arecibo came away with two runs — one on an EnFuego error and the other on a wild pitch — in the bottom half of the second.
After a scoreless third inning, Arecibo cut into EnFuego’s lead in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Adbiel Morales blasted a home run over the left-field wall to pull Arecibo within four runs at 11-7.
While Arecibo did its best to battle back, EnFuego worked its way through four pitchers to maintain its lead. Avila said using so many pitches isn't a concern for the team as they more forward in the tournament.
EnFuego added one run in the sixth with an RBI from Zach Inskeep to push its lead to 12-7.
"It will be a big crowd and it will be exciting to be in front of great hosts and a great complex with great fans. Hopefully, we’ll have a few fans to root for us," Avila said. "It will be a great experience for our kids and we’ll see how it goes."
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Leading hitter: Sam Abbott, 1 for 2, 1B, BB, 1 RBI, 2 R
WP: Corey Jackson
SV: Daniel Copeland
Leading hitters: Emmanuell Garcia, 1B, BB, 2 RBIs. Pedro Otero, 1B, 3R
LP: Luis Quinonez