Florida explodes for six-run sixth inning to cruise to 8-0 win
FARMINGTON — The Florida Legends were two-out warriors in Game 4 of the Connie Mack World Series.
The Legends scored all eight of their runs — two in the fourth inning and six in the sixth — with two outs en route to an 8-0 win over the Southern California Renegades this morning at Ricketts Park.
"I think the guys have a lot of confidence right now," Legends' coach Carlos Marti said. "That's a huge win, and it's all about getting big hits in Farmington. To win here, you gotta get big performances from pitchers, gotta play defense and your hitters have to get big hits. And they did that today."
Florida pitcher Shane Roberts earned the win, holding the Renegades to four hits in five innings. However, Roberts said he didn't have his best outing.
"I didn't real feel like I had my best stuff, but you have to go out there and play for your team," said Roberts, who walked four batters. "You have to get outs and get the hitters back into their dugout, and see if we can score some runs, which we did. You just have to have confidence in (the offense)."
Marti agreed with Roberts' self-assessment, but praised the pitcher for his ability to overcome the challenge and get the Renegades to put the ball in play for the Legends' defense to make plays.
The Renegades got their leadoff batter on base in four innings, but couldn't string any hits together to put pressure on the Legends.
SoCal had the bases loaded with one out in the second inning, but couldn't get anything in, and left runners on second and third in the fourth inning. The Renegades stranded nine runners in the loss.
The biggest blow to SoCal came in the sixth when the Renegades committed a two-out error, which led to the first of the inning's six runs.
"We didn't execute (at the plate)," SoCal coach Si Pettrow said. "We had our chances, and when they had their chance, we made a big error. We should have been out of the inning, but credit to (the Legends) — they rolled three or four hits in a row, and it was game over."
Florida catcher Andres Sanchez led the Legends with a two-for-three performance, finishing with three RBIs and a run. Adrian Ramos, Austin Pollak and Addison Barger each added an RBI in the sixth inning.
The loss dropped the Renegades into the bottom side of the bracket. They'll play the loser of the Nashville Knights-East Cobb Yankees game at noon Wednesday at Ricketts Park.
The win gives the Legends a bye into Thursday's third round. Marti said the team will spend Wednesday having fun away from the field.
"My whole coaching staff is new here — they've never been here, except for me and our scorekeeper. So these guys have been dying to go whitewater rafting," Marti said. "The coaches will be whitewater rafting, and the players will be sitting in a house playing video games. They won't be anywhere near water."
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.