Team hopes to win local title, advance to Connie Mack World Series for second year in a row
FARMINGTON — Strike Zone’s bats are ready to deliver, early and late.
Returning to the Connie Mack City Tournament with hopes of being the host team for the Connie Mack World Series for the second straight year, Strike Zone is demonstrating it can blow out opponents and come through with critical late-inning runs.
Case in point: its 23-2 win Monday over the Halos and its 3-1 come-from-behind win Tuesday over the Rivercats at Ricketts Park.
“It’s a good start to the tournament so we can keep the momentum rolling,” said Strike Zone third baseman Zac Van Duran. “Clutch hits will get the job done.”
Strike Zone’s approach at the plate has been quite simple: staying patient.
The players wait to find that sweet spot in the zone, and they let far outside corner pitches go by.
“It should be one pitch you’re looking for. If it’s not that one, you should probably hold back,” Strike Zone left fielder and leadoff hitter Coby Baer said.
Strike Zone hitters aim to get into a full count and then strike. Sometimes, they’ll smash the ball deep. Other times, they’ll score quick runs by taking advantage of fielding errors — like they did in the fifth inning Tuesday.
“It’s awesome to see. We really turned it up (Tuesday), and we’re playing at our best for the time that we need to. Everyone’s hitting the ball like we should,” Baer said. “We’ve gotten into more full counts. We’ve gotten really good looking batting counts. We’ve taken advantage and smashed the ball.”
Strike Zone coach Adam Morrissey said his hitters are not chasing many pitches out of the strike zone, adding that producing both ways will give his squad that extra confidence.
“Just learn to adapt what the game gives you,” Morrissey said. “They’re just believing in themselves right now. It’s been a long summer and come to this point.”
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.