Host team knows it faces tough road but excited about opportunity

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FARMINGTON — The 4-C ClubSox wasted no time taking down foes one by one in last week’s Connie Mack City Tournament, and now they get to continue their season on the big stage.

The ClubSox, who beat the Fuel 5-4 in Saturday’s tournament title game to finish the tourney undefeated, will represent their hometown at the Connie Mack World Series July 28-Aug. 6. 

“It feels fantastic. No words to explain it,” ClubSox first baseman and recent Piedra Vista graduate Devin Ferrari said. “I’ve never played in front of that many people before, so it’s going to be kind of a crazy experience.”

While some players may new to this type of experience, others grew up watching it and hoped to one day play in the tournament.

More: ClubSox win thriller, claim City Tournament title

“These guys have been around it their whole lives,” 4-C ClubSox coach Mike McGaha said.

The team is primarily comprised of PV players, but also features two players from Durango, Colo., and two players from 2017 New Mexico 6A state champion La Cueva.

The ClubSox are a balanced team across the board. They have strong pitchers who attack the strike zone with good velocity and an attentive infield on defense, with players who track down and stay in front of the ball.

There is also a good blend of power and speed in the lineup, with hitters who make solid contact and runners who recognize when to bolt from one base to the next.

McGaha, also PV’s baseball coach, said he knew what he was going to get out of this 4-C ClubSox group: a team that keeps fighting.

More: 4-C is coach McGaha's team, but this summer it's kind of Andrew Caliendo's team, too

“We all have trust in each other. We have a lot of positivity in the dugout, a lot of chemistry. That really shows, just with us being mainly our high school team and four pickups,” said ClubSox right fielder Deylan Pigford, who will be a senior at PV this fall.

Saturday’s victory, in which the ClubSox trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, was a much-needed boost.

“We need all the momentum we can get, all the confidence we can get going into the series. We’ll just keep building off (Saturday’s win),” Pigford said. “It’s amazing. I can’t wait to get in front of the big crowd, them cheering our name.”

Farmington has hosted the Connie Mack World Series since 1965, and this year's tournament will feature a 17-team field.

More: Big changes coming to Connie Mack World Series

A parade will be held along Main Street at 10 a.m. July 28, starting at Bowman Avenue and ending at Ricketts. Opening festivities will begin with a home run derby at 5:30 p.m. that same day.

Pool play will start at 9 a.m. July 29-30 at Ricketts Park, Worley Field and the Farmington Sports Complex, and the first round of bracket competition will start at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 at Ricketts.

The ClubSox understand it won’t be a cakewalk.

“We’re going to see a lot better arms," Ferrari said, "and some really good teams."

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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