Renegades run away from Knights in Monday's 2021 Connie Mack World Series opener

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times
Southern California Renegades starting pitcher Matt DeCrona delivers to the plate in the third inning of Monday morning's Connie Mack World Series game against the Nashville Knights at Ricketts Park.

FARMINGTON – The Southern California Renegades showed why they are considered one of the top teams in the 2021 Connie Mack World Series with a precision like 8-1 victory over the Nashville Knights Monday morning at Ricketts Park.

Getting solid contributions on the hill as well as at the plate, the Renegades turned an otherwise close game into a bit of a rout as the contest progressed.

The Renegades jumped out early with three consecutive hits getting their first run across with one out in the bottom of the first inning. Sebastian Arguelles singled, then advanced to third LeTrey McCollum’s single before scoring their first run off the bat of Caleb Lomavita who tried to stretch a single into a double but was tagged out by Knights second baseman Javier Beal.

Renegades starting pitcher Matt DeCrona fought his way through a solid 4 innings on the mound. DeCrona surrendered a fourth inning solo blast by Knights catcher Brantley Bamberg, but also got help defensively to get out of jams in both the second inning and later in the fourth.

Nashville Knights second baseman Javier Beal waits for a pitch from Southern California Renegades starter Matt DeCrona in the third inning of their Connie Mack World Series game Monday morning at Ricketts Park.

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“I only had that one mistake, and that was the one that got out of here,” DeCrona said after the game. “I was confident our offense was going to come through at some point.”

The next big offensive threat for the Renegades came in the bottom of the fifth inning. With Jordan Kang and Julian Cazares on base, shortstop George Cooper ripped a triple to the wall in left-center field, clearing the bases and giving the Renegades a 3-1 lead. 

Cooper would score two pitches later when reliever Trevor Jackson’s 1-0 pitch to Arguelles got by Bamberg, extending the Renegades lead to 4-1 heading to the sixth inning.

Beto Beltran, who came into the game in relief of DeCrona in the 5th inning, had a solid outing as well, giving up only one hit in two innings while getting a lot of help from his defense behind him.

“We’ve got a really good defensive team,” said Renegades coach Si Pettrow after the game. “Great play all around to stay close early and then getting the runs we needed to win the game.”

Story continues below.

The Renegades put the game on ice in the bottom of the sixth inning when Lomavita hit a two-run blast to center field, scoring McCollum and padding the lead to 6-1.

Consecutive fielding errors by Knights first baseman Blake Bevis as well as second baseman Javier Beal cost the Knights two more runs later in the sixth inning to put the game further out of reach. 

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The Renegades will be back in action Tuesday at Ricketts Park to face either Midland or the South Troy (NY) Dodgers. Game time is scheduled at 5:15 p.m.

The Knights will be back in action Tuesday as well, moving over to the consolation bracket where they will face the loser of that same game. That consolation bracket game will be played at 1 p.m. at the Farmington Sports Complex.

Contact Steven Bortstein at 505-635-2680, or via email at sbortstein@gannett.com.

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