Looking ahead: Compelling match-ups in 2021 Connie Mack World Series brackets

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – The best tournament brackets are the ones where you find compelling match-ups. 

Much of that relies on the games within those brackets playing out the way we imagine.

If that’s indeed the case during the 2021 Connie Mack World Series, then one area of the bracket to concentrate on will be Monday’s games 3 and 4, the first being the Nashville Knights facing off with the Southern California Renegades followed by the defending champion Midland Baseball team squaring off against the South Troy Dodgers.

Wins from the Renegades and Midland in those Monday matchups would set up a rematch of the 2019 championship, when Midland needed to win twice over the Renegades to capture their third straight title and 17th overall in team history.

Evan Whiteaker of the Midland (OH) Baseball Team prepares to deliver a pitch in the first inning of their Saturday night pool play game against the Albuquerque Baseball Academy for the Connie Mack World Series.

Midland coach Dave Evans was apprehensive to look beyond Monday’s game against the Dodgers.

“They’ve got a talented group over there,” Evans said of the South Troy (NY) team. “I don’t envy either one of us getting into that next round.”

CMWS Central:Your place to go for 2021 Connie Mack World Series scores, updates and more

The Midland team comes into bracket competition off two wins in pool play action. On Friday, they defeated the Florida Legends by a final of 15-4. Saturday, they knocked off the Albuquerque Baseball Academy 6-1.

The win over the ABA at Ricketts Park was highlighted by a couple strong individual efforts, notably from Christian Moore who opened the scoring with a solo homerun in the top of the first inning.

“(Moore) came up and had a great at-bat and that really set the tone for us,” Evans said. “That was a really good plate appearance and that’s what you’re looking for.”

The 2021 Connie Mack World Series bracket is out. Bracket games begin July 25 at 5:15 at Ricketts Park.

Midland scored another run in the second inning, then made some great defensive plays to keep ABA off the board. They were also aided by strong appearances on the mound.

Evan Whiteaker started the game, striking out three and allowing only one hit in his two innings of work. Whiteaker was followed by Jackson Soucie, Brian McBroom, Michael Conte and Owen Washburn, the combined efforts surrendering only one run on five hits on the night.

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“(Whiteaker) threw really well,” Evans said. “Our plan was to extend some of our pitchers nights, but it all worked out well. Everyone had a solid outing.”

Midland’s opponents on Monday are still looking for their first win since arriving in Farmington last week. The Dodgers were outscored 15-7 by the Renegades on Friday, then shut out by the D-Bat United team 10-0 on Saturday.

Third baseman Danny Rogers provided much of the spark for the Dodgers in their opening day loss to the Renegades. Rogers went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in five runs, including a three-run blast in the fifth inning which gave the Dodgers what appeared to be a strong lead before the Renegades countered back with a nine-run sixth inning to steal the win.

Christian Moore connects on a pitch and hits a first inning home run for the Midland (OH) Baseball Team in Saturday night's pool play game of the Connie Mack World Series Tournament at Ricketts Park.

Evans is confident that his team comes into the Series with a talented roster, and that their recent time played together will be most beneficial as the series progresses.

“Just kind of coming together these last couple of weeks,” Evans said when commenting on the strength of the team. “We’ve got some great defensive stars here especially in the infield. That’s where a lot of our guys are going to shine.” 

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Contact Steve Bortstein via email at sbortstein@gannett.com.

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