Strike Zone fights to beat EnFuego 5-3 in Game 11
Strike Zone took advantage of EnFuego mistakes early before relying on pitching and defense to secure the team's second win at the Connie Mack World Series
- Strike Zone's seven- through nine-hole batters scored four of the team's five runs.
- EnFuego stranded six runners in scoring position.
- Strike Zone's Jensen Lewis and Tresten Kennard combined to strike out nine EnFuego batters.
- Strike Zone had just five hits in the win, but drew free passes with three walks and two hit batters.
FARMINGTON — Strike Zone’s dream run at the Connie Mack World Series is still alive.
After knocking off the Southern California Renegades 2-1 on Friday, the host team topped Seattle’s EnFuego Elite 5-3 on Monday night at Ricketts Park to remain unbeaten.
“The excitement level is big. This is exciting to do this for Farmington and New Mexico,” Strike Zone’s Drew Gillespie said. “It’s big time right now. We’re locked in, and we’re working hard for this.”
EnFuego (1-1) took an early lead in the game. Then Strike Zone (2-0) was on top for half an inning before EnFuego tied the game, only to see the host team retake the advantage, all within the first four innings.
“It was a battle of a game,” Strike Zone coach Adam Morrissey said. “It was a really tough effort from my team tonight to keep battling. It was just a battle out there all night.”
EnFuego took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. After Parker DePasquale drew a walk and Marco Calderon singled to start the inning, Zack Inskeep laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. In the next at-bat, a wild pitch scored DePasquale, then Matt Dietz hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Calderon.
Strike Zone worked the bases loaded in the bottom of the second and saw Lawrence Mayberry draw a walk to push one run across.
Then chaos broke out. Gillespie hit a fly ball to shallow right field, but it wasn’t deep enough for Strike Zone to send Garrett Farmer on a tag from third. But Gavin Martin, who was on second, misread the play and took off from second to third. Caught between the bags, Martin retreated to second, but EnFuego’s throw from home to second to try to catch Martin sailed into center field.
The throwing error allowed Farmer to score from third, and Martin reversed direction again and made it home to give Strike Zone a 3-2 lead.
“We capitalized on their mistakes, and it was a big moment for sure. It got us some runs and definitely built us some confidence,” Morrissey said of the bizarre play.
In the top of the third, a dropped third strike with runners on second and third allowed EnFuego’s Sami Baig to steal home and tie the game at 3-3.
Strike Zone retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and runners on first and third, Gillespie singled to right field to drive in Farmer and put runners on the corners again. Then, during the next at-bat, Gillespie stole second. On the throw to second to try to catch Gillespie stealing, Mayberry took off from third to home for another run, giving Strike Zone the 5-3 lead.
EnFuego will play the Midland Redskins (1-1) at noon today at Ricketts Park, while Strike Zone will play the Dallas Tigers (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. later in the day.
“We haven’t reached our goal yet this year,” Morrissey said. “(Today) will be another battle, and we’re coming to win. We’re going to play hard and try to play all the way to the end.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Leading hitter: Drew Gillespie, 2 for 3, RBI, SB
WP: Jensen Lewis
Leading hitter: Marco Calderon, 3 for 3, R
LP: Nick Flesher