SoCal team wins all three pool play games to open tourney

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FARMINGTON — The Southern California Renegades are applying pressure on both ends of the diamond, and they refuse to let up.

As a result, SoCal won all three of its pool play games to start the Connie Mack World Series competition.

“They are constantly wanting to get to the plate, wanting to hit, wanting to play defense,” said coach Si Pettrow, whose squad is playing in its 10th CMWS.

The Renegade lineup is being tactical in the box, waiting for the right pitch to swing at.

“Everybody’s seeing a lot of pitches. We’re getting deep (pitch) counts, guessing pitches and getting pitches that we want,” designated hitter Nick Hansen said. “Everybody on the team’s got a good eye. We’re looking for the ball up. We’re looking to drive something deep into the yard, do some damage. Everybody’s been doing that so far.”

They’re also waiting for any and every fielding error and passed ball to come up, in order to bring in that extra run or two.

“Our whole team is super aggressive on the base paths,” Hansen said.

Pettrow said SoCal is also putting pressure on foes by doing small things like bunting the ball and letting off-target pitches go by.

More: It's time: CMWS pool play schedule

The Renegades scored 24 runs during pool play.

And they’re moving into their spots quickly on defense, ready to step on or toss the ball to a nearby bag for quick outs. They’re also getting into the right spots to complete the final out in an inning when opponents load the bases.

SoCal has one mentality entering Monday’s winners bracket play: stay in control, start to end.

“You’re always jockeying for position. This (pool play) bracket was a tough bracket,” said Pettrow, adding his squad is trying to avoid big mistakes. “We’ve now weeded out the great from the good.”

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

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