The Renegades advance to the fifth round of the world series, where they'll be one of four remaining teams
FARMINGTON — The Southern California Renegades are rolling at the Connie Mack World Series.
The Renegades, from Huntington Beach, Calif., were patient and methodical at the plate and nearly perfect in the field in a 9-1 victory over the Midland Redskins in Game 17, an elimination game, this afternoon at Ricketts Park.
SoCal only had four hits but drew eight walks, hit one batter and took advantage of four Midland errors to propel its offense.
“We told the guys that we had to take walks and take advantage of hitting and sacrifice opportunities. Scoring runs is what’s going to win this tournament,” SoCal coach Si Pettrow said. “The last couple of days we’ve been preaching more to have better at-bats, 11- and 12-pitch at-bats. We did a great job.”
Pettrow said Jackson’s ability to keep the Cincinnati-based Midland squad off balance with his curveball was the key to his success.
“He was getting his curveball over, which made his fastball even better,” Pettrow said. “We wanted to pitch quick, throw strikes and let the defense make plays, which is what we did.”
SoCal took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on first and second with one out, Justin Mazzone hit a ground ball up the middle. Midland tried to turn the double play, but after getting the force at second, the throw to first was wide and allowed SoCal’s Tommy Delgado to score on the throwing error.
The Renegades (3-1) provided a two-out rally in the bottom of the third to open up the game.
With runners on first and second, Sheldon Borson knocked an RBI single to make it 2-0. During the next at-bat, Delgado grounded to Midland shortstop Luke Waddell, who fielded the ball cleanly and threw to first. But the ball clanked off Austin McNicholas’s glove and rolled into foul territory. As a result of the error, Blake Sabol scored, and Borson and Delgado advanced to third and second, respectively. In the next at-bat, Jake Lopez hit a two-RBI single to right field to extend the SoCal lead to 5-0.
“Every aspect of the game we played poorly,” Midland coach Dave Evans said. “We had the chance to get out of some big innings, but we pitched poorly. You can’t walk eight guys in a game. When you walk guys, the defense isn’t as alert and you make errors.”
Midland (2-2) scored in the top of the fourth. After a two-out double from McNicholas, Casey Opitz grounded to second, but the ball got pass Borson, allowing McNicholas to score on the error.
SoCal’s Riley Dent led off the bottom of the fourth by drawing a walk, then stole second and third to get within 90 feet of home. After a Midland pitching change to bring in Xavier Moore, Dent scored when Moore’s first pitch was wild and reached the backstop.
Shortly after the wild pitch, Moore was called for a balk, which advanced SoCal’s two baserunners to second and third, with Borson at the plate. Borson put down a squeeze bunt, and, on a play at the plate, Nate Webb was ruled safe, sliding in under the tag from Midland’s Opitz at catcher.
The Renegades added the final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Mazzone scored on an error, then Dent took advantage of a passed ball, scoring from third to end the game via the run rule.
SoCal moves into the final four remaining teams of the world series. The Renegades will play the Dallas Tigers (3-1) in Game 20 at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday.
“You just ask for one more day. That’s what the kids are asking for right now,” Pettrow said. “‘Today’s not the day to go home.’ That’s kind of our rally cry right now.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Leading hitters: Jake Lopez, 1 for 2, 2 RBIs. Riley Dent, 2 R, 2 SB.
WP: Jake Jackson
Leading hitter: Austin McNicholas, 1 for 2, 2B, R
LP: Keagan Gillies