Redskins' speed goes a long way

Midland baserunners kept pressure on defenders throughout this year's CMWS

Matt Hollinshead,
Midland Redskins baserunner Nick Jodway races toward third base Sunday during the Connie Mack World Series championship game against the Danville Hoots at Ricketts Park in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – The Midland Redskins ran like the wind during their Connie Mack World Series title run, applying constant pressure on their foes with their speed.

"Speed kills," centerfielder/lead-off hitter Cam Hill said.

Top to bottom, Midland has players with a great first step and great acceleration. Upon making contact the plate, they're on first base in a flash.

They go full speed moving across the bases. Even if the result is being tagged out inches from third base, they usually go for that extra base. They keep the motor running whenever they can.

"Everybody in our lineup can run. When you've got every guy that's able to beat out a ground ball or steal bases, that puts so much more pressure on the defense to make plays. You've got to get rid of the ball quicker. That makes them bobble it," second baseman Cal Conley said.

Today's 11-0 CMWS championship game win over the Danville was the latest example of how the Redskins' speed could overwhelm an opponent.

"Obviously, it put tremendous pressure on them. They couldn't handle it, so we took advantage of all their mistakes, and it got us some runs," Hill said. "No other team has speed like us. We know how to use our speed. We're aggressive with it. It takes a toll."

Coach Dave Evans doesn't ever let his players jog the down the first- and third-base lines, even if opposing defenses may stall a bit trying to get the ball in.

The team's approach of having players keep their foot on the gas pedal paid off in this year tournament. It wore down on opponents, and Midland coasted to its first CMWS title since 2011 because of it.

"They bobble the ball, and you always have a chance to get there. It just beats (opponents) down. It all adds up," left fielder Nick Jodway said. "Every once in a while, we will get yelled at getting out at third, but in the end, it usually works out."

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