D-BAT piled up 18 hits and 18 runs to knock the host team out of the Connie Mack World Series
FARMINGTON — It was one of the better runs of the decade for a host team, but Strike Zone was eliminated from the Connie Mack World Series early this morning at Ricketts Park.
In a game that was delayed two hours due to continued lightning in the area, Strike Zone starting pitcher Mitchell Parker struggled mightily with his command, and the team's offense struggled just as badly to collect hits. D-BAT Elite 17U took full advantage, toppling the hosts 18-7 in Game 18 to move on to the final two days of the series.
There were seven errors in the game: four for Strike Zone and three for D-BAT.
D-BAT (3-1) coach Ryan Robertson said the offensive explosion was a plus, but his team has to play better defensively against teams like East Cobb and the Dallas Tigers going forward.
"We have a lot of firepower, so we're never out of any games, but you can't give good teams four or five outs an inning. You can't do it," Robertson said. "If we didn't put 18 runs on the board, it's a tight game. So we have got to shore up our defense and quit making so many dang errors."
Parker only lasted 2.2 innings, and he issued a staggering seven walks while letting in five earned runs. Twelve of his first 13 pitches in the game went for balls.
Strike Zone's first run of the game, which happened in the first inning with the team down 2-0, came via an error and a passed ball, so the team didn't register its first hit until the third inning. Strike Zone managed only six hits in the game, even though it scored seven runs.
Dallas' D-BAT built a 6-1 lead at the time Parker — who threw 84 pitches — was pulled. The lightning struck close to Ricketts in the middle of the third inning to trigger a delay, and the game got wild when it finally resumed.
Austin Ely, who has thrown fewer than 10 innings this summer, threw for Strike Zone (2-2) and didn't fare well, giving up six earned runs and eight runs total in the fourth and fifth innings.
The hosts managed to pick up runs here and there, thanks to heady base running and D-BAT's four errors in the game, but they struggled for the second straight game to make firm contact with the baseball. They finished with no extra base-hits.
Down 13-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth and on the verge of being run ruled, Strike Zone didn't quit, scoring three runs in the inning, despite managing only one hit. Tresten Kennard, Andrew Laymon and Ely all touched home plate in the frame to push the game to a full seven innings.
But D-BAT finally put Strike Zone away for good with a huge five-run seventh inning, in which they managed five consecutive hits at one point to slam the door shut.
D-BAT has been crushing the ball to the tune of 33 runs in its last two games. They'll try to keep it going against East Cobb (3-0) in Game 21 at 7:30 p.m. today at Ricketts Park.
For Strike Zone, it was a miraculous summer that almost didn't get past the middle of the City Tournament week, when the Farmington team had to reel off four straight wins to even earn hosting duties. Morrissey said this summer was special, to say the least.
"Just a special group of kids, and they made me a better person, man," Morrissey said. "We went through a lot together and to see them overcome all that, it was just special."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.
D-BAT Elite 17U
WP: Noah Sifrit
Leading hitters: Lawrence Mayberry, 1 for 2, 2 Rs, BB. Austin Ely, BB, 2 Rs
LP: Mitchell Parker