Hoots walk off, join East Cobb in bracket

Karl Schneider
Farmington Daily Times
East Cobb's Ryan Bliss slides in to third base ahead of the tag from Texas Stix's Lance Russell on Sunday at Ricketts Park.

FARMINGTON — The Danville Hoots are still alive at the Connie Mack World Series.

The scrappy team from Danville, Calif., scored a 6-5 walk-off win over D-BAT 18 in the final game of pool play tonight at Ricketts Park.

Down 5-4 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Hoots worked the bases loaded with one out for Ryan Cole. Cole ripped a line drive to left field, scoring two runs for the win.

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"I call them the little engine that could. There are all these big programs, the automatic bids — D-BAT is a great team, but we battle. We know how to battle," Hoots' coach Don Johns said. "We've played some really good baseball, and we've played some really bad baseball. It's like Jekyll and Hyde, and tonight it was good for us."

Johns, who planned to retire after bringing the Hoots to Farmington in 2014, said again that this summer is his last as a coach. During the game he pulled down the Hoots' lineup card, ready to keep it as a memento from his last game. But now, he has at least two more games at the CMWS.

"I pulled the lineup card. It was my last game. I was going to write on here, 'My last game.' Now I need to make sure we have another one," Johns said. "This is special, and this place is special. To come here and compete, and to enjoy it for another day or two days, it's something special." 

D-BAT 18 6, East Cobb Yankees 5

D-BAT 18 found its way past the two-time defending CMWS champion East Cobb Yankees 6-5 today at the Farmington Sports Complex.

The two sides traded the lead on multiple occasions during the game.

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With the score tied 5-5 in the fifth, D-BAT's Easton Murrell hit a sacrifice fly to give the Dallas-based team the lead for good.

Jonathan Stroman earned the win for D-BAT while Luke Scaggs picked up the save.

The loss dropped East Cobb to 1-1 in pool play.

East Cobb Yankees 5, Texas Stix 2

It took the East Cobb Yankees a while to shake off this morning's 6-5 loss to D-BAT 18, but they woke up in the fourth inning, scoring four runs in the inning en route to a 5-2 win over the Texas Stix tonight at Ricketts Park.

"I thought we were a little hungover from the loss during the first couple innings," East Cobb coach James Beavers said. "I was telling our coaches that I didn't like what was going on. There was no energy in the dugout and we needed someone to channel some energy."

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Beavers credited pitcher Cole McNamee with providing a spark for the Yankees when McNamee worked out of bases loaded to keep the Stix from opening up an early lead.

The loss leaves the Stix winless in pool play and ends the team's trip to Farmington.

Danville Hoots 4, Texas Stix 2

The Danville Hoots clawed back from an early deficit to topple the Texas Stix 4-2 today at the Farmington Sports Complex.

The two teams faced a two-hour delay at the field after a thunderstorm early Sunday morning had the field under water.

The Stix, from Euless, Texas, took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, but couldn't get much else going at the plate the rest of the game.

The Hoots, out of Danville, Calif., chipped away at the deficit and tied the game in the third after a Texas error.

The defenses kept the score knotted until the sixth inning when the Hoots scored on a squeeze bunt to take a 3-2 lead. Danville added an insurance run in the top of the seventh and held on for the win.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.