The Dallas Tigers took a 7-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning and held off a late SoCal surge to advance to the final round of the Connie Mack World Series
FARMINGTON — The Dallas Tigers got back on track at the Connie Mack World Series with an 8-6 victory over the Southern California Renegades today at Ricketts Park.
The Dallas team suffered its only loss at the world series on Wednesday, falling to East Cobb 3-1, and Tigers coach Kyle Woods said he was proud of the way his players responded.
“It was a great job by the guys,” Woods said. “They came out early and scored two (runs) in the first (inning). We had a couple of botched plays throughout the game, but it never affected our confidence and demeanor. We still came out and fought every inning.”
The Tigers struck early, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning with a two-RBI double from Canaan Smith.
In the top of the third, Smith delivered again, this time with an RBI single to score Brayden Webb and push the lead to 3-0.
“That’s the biggest 5-foot-8 dude I’ve ever known,” Woods said of Adair. “He has a lot of heart and a lot of passion behind every pitch. He threw strikes early, and he had a great change up and breaking ball all night. The hitters never got comfortable.”
SoCal’s bats warmed up in the bottom of the third. In the inning, the Renegades (3-2), from Huntington Beach, Calif., got three hits and came away with one run on a Tyler Ankrom RBI single to make it 3-1.
Dallas (4-1) added to its lead in the top of the fourth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Webb hit an RBI single to extend the Tigers’ lead to 4-1. The Tigers had a chance to add to their lead, working the bases loaded for Smith. But SoCal pitcher Brad Spooner struck Smith out on three pitches to get out of the jam.
The Tigers added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Eli Davis provided the first run with an RBI that drove in Ray Gaither. The second run came when SoCal catcher Justin Mazzone sailed a throw intended for third base into left field, allowing Jaxx Groshans to score from third.
“We made too many mistakes against a good team,” SoCal coach Si Pettrow said. “Good teams don’t let you back in the game, and (the Tigers) made the plays they needed to make.”
After striking out the first two batters he faced in the top of the sixth, SoCal pitcher Braydon Salzman walked the next four batters to give the Tigers a 7-1 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, SoCal had its first three batters reach safely and went on to score all three. Ankrom led off the inning with a walk. After a Nate Webb single, Blake Sabol hit an RBI double to cut the deficit to 7-3. Then a sacrifice fly from Sheldon Borson and an RBI single by Tommy Delgado made it 7-4.
Dallas added one run in the top of the seventh when SoCal balked in a run.
Dallas advances to the final round of the world series on Friday. The Tigers will face the winner of the 5:30 p.m. game between the East Cobb Yankees (3-1) and D-BAT Elite 17U (4-1). The championship game will start at 8 p.m. Friday at Ricketts Park.
Smith said his team is full of confidence entering the game.
“Right now, we’re hitting hot,” Smith said. “We feel like no one can get us out. We have to keep playing good defense, and we have to finish the whole game, not just play five or six innings. But our hitting has been good, and we don’t think anyone can get us out.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-5648.
Leading hitter: Canaan Smith, 2 for 4, BB, 3 RBIs, R.
WP: William Adair
SV: Zach DeLoach
Leading hitter: Tyler Ankrom, 2 for 2, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R.
LP: Brad Spooner