Redskins had been on verge of elimination since Tuesday
FARMINGTON — The Midland Redskins were on the brink of an early exit just four nights ago, but they rose back up to the mountaintop in tonight’s Connie Mack World Series championship game, taking down D-BAT, 8-4, at Ricketts Park.
“This is something I’ll never forget as long as I’m around,” Midland catcher Zade Richardson said.
The Redskins have now won back-to-back titles, 15 in total.
Just as it did at the start of championship bracket play, Midland found itself in a hole tonight. D-BAT, which won an 11-10, ninth-inning thriller over Lamorinda today to reach the title game, drew first blood on the scoreboard.
D-BAT led 2-0 entering the top of the fifth inning, following an RBI sacrifice fly by Trey Harris and Diego Muniz’s RBI double.
Meanwhile, Midland’s lineup initially struggled to build steam against D-BAT hurler Justin Karbowski.
“He was just throwing nothing but off-speed (pitches), and we couldn’t get it,” said Lane Flamm, who started on the pitching mound and later moved to his primary position in left field. “We weren’t making really good, solid contact against the guy. He just had us out in front with his curveball. We couldn’t time it up, and everything was off the end of the bat.”
Then the tables turned dramatically.
Coming in as a pinch hitter, Richardson crushed a three-run shot over the wall, giving the Redskins their first lead of the night, 3-2.
“After that, we were on a roll,” Richardson said. “We fought, we scrapped. It gave us a little more life and a little bit more fire in the dugout.”
From there, Midland kept on crushing the ball through the gaps and expanded its lead.
Flamm, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, put the game away for good in the top of the seventh with a two-run double. Flamm then scored the eighth Midland run off a missed double play attempt by D-BAT.
“I knew we had it all the way once we got the lead,” Flamm said.
Since entering the elimination-game part of the bracket on Tuesday, Midland averaged 10.8 runs a game.
After spending four nights hanging off the cliff that was possible elimination, Midland climbed back right back up its hard-earned place on top, again.
“To win it and have our backs up against the wall, (it’s) something special,” Flamm said. “We had numerous games where we should’ve been knocked out, but we came back and just fought. Very few people get to ever say ‘I’m a back-to-back Connie Mack World Series champion.’ It’s an honor.”
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.