505 Panthers eliminated by Legends in Connie Mack World Series

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − The Florida Legends staved off elimination Wednesday night in front of a large crowd at Ricketts Park, beating the host team 505 Panthers by a final score of 8-2.

The victory allows the Legends to play another day, while eliminating the Panthers from the tournament with a record of 1-2 in pool play and 1-2 in bracket competition.

Florida got on the board early and never trailed in the contest, scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Justin Lebron drove in Cameron King on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.

The Panthers evened the score in the top half of the second inning when Ryan Ray scored from second on a close play at the plate after a Dax Vigil RBI single.

The Legends opened the lead to 4-1 in the bottom half of the second inning when Eddie Boe Rodriguez drove in Roylan Quevedo on a fielders' choice to the second baseman. Panthers starting pitcher Bryant Elliott later gave up a 2-out, 2-RBI single by Samuel Fischer which allowed Rodriguez and Anthony Ruiz to score. That proved to be the end of the night for Elliott, who gave up four runs on five hits while striking out three.

505 Panthers shortstop Jacob Kuhn receives the throw from home plate and attempts to tag Florida Legends' Justin Lebron as he slides into second base in the bottom of the fourth inning of a third round game of the Connie Mack World Series on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at Ricketts Park.

The Legends tacked on another run in the fourth inning and three more runs in the fifth inning, thanks to an RBI single from Anthony Ruiz, as well as a sacrifice fly from Kader Rabagh and an RBI fielders choice from King. Trailing 8-1 at that point, the Panthers did tack on a run in the top of the sixth inning when Josh Wulfert scored off an RBI single by Kendrick Aragon.

The Legends brought in relief pitcher Horacio Cruz at that point, with the Panthers having loaded the bases with only one out. Those runners were left stranded after Cruz posted back-to-back strikeouts to Keenan Bejar and Ray to end the threat.

Legends starting pitcher Andrew Ildefonso threw four sharp innings and picked up the win, striking out three batters while surrendering four walks and five hits.

The Legends will face the Southern California Renegades at Ricketts Park on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. with the loser being eliminated from the tournament. The Renegades lost for the first time in the series on Wednesday, falling to D-Bat United by a final of 6-2.

D-Bat United cruise past Renegades

Pitcher Caden Cline threw a spectacular 6 2/3 innings, allowing only one run and striking out five as the D-Bat United remained perfect in bracket play of the Connie Mack World Series Wednesday night at Ricketts Park with a 6-2 win in the third round over the Southern California Renegades.

Cline, who didn't start the game for D-Bat, came onto the mound after starter Isaac Godard walked a pair and hit a pair of Renegades batters after recording only one out to open the contest. Cline ended the threat when Jordan Kang hit into a double play.

The Renegades only managed to get one runner into scoring position the rest of the night, when Trevor Schmidt scored from third base on a fielding error in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cline didn't walk a batter and finished off the night with a strikeout of Corey Nunez to seal the deal.

"(Cline) was awesome all night for us," said D-Bat coach Ryan Bonesio. "He throws three good pitches for strikes and he executes and he got the job done for us tonight."

Third baseman Andrew Tellia made some spectacular defensive plays for D-Bat United, assisting on three ground ball outs in the middle innings. He's also come up strong at the plate during the series, scoring three times and going 3-for-7 at the plate.

"He's a special guy defensively," Bonesio said of Tellia after the win. "He can play all different positions and he's got some juice with the bat as well."

D-Bat United will face Midland Baseball tonight at Ricketts Park in a battle of the lone teams with an unblemished record in the tournament. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Renegades will face elimination when they tackle the Florida Legends Thursday at 5:15 at Ricketts Park.

Nighthawks score 10 times in final inning to rally past Dodgers

Brandon Leon, Ayden Garcia and Eli Lopez each hit 3-run home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Colton Nighthawks scored 10 runs, staving off elimination for the second straight day, beating the Dulin Dodgers 12-9 Tuesday morning at Ricketts Park.

The Nighthawks trailed 9-2 heading into the final frame before the trio drove in nine runs on three separate home runs. The victory gives the Nighthawks a chance to stave off elimination yet again on Thursday when they face UBC National at noon at Ricketts Park.

The Nighthawks lost the opening game of bracket play 10-2 on Monday to the Southern California Renegades, then blew out the Albuquerque Baseball Academy on Tuesday 12-0.

The loss eliminates the Dodgers from the CMWS after going 0-2-1 in pool play, and 1-2 in the tournament bracket.

UBC National prevails over Texas Stix

Scoring six runs in the bottom of the third inning, the UBC National team rolled to an 8-6 win over the Texas Stix in a consolation bracket clash Wednesday afternoon at Ricketts Park.

The victory ends the tournament run for the Stix, who finished with a record of 2-1 in pool play and 1-2 in bracket competition. The UBC National squad, which lost Monday's opening bracket game to Midland 8-0, are coming off back-to-back wins over Elite Squad Gulf South and the Stix.

Ben Tryon's bases-clearing double in the bottom half of the third inning provided much of the offense for UBC National, scoring Brayden Sprencel, Van Klein and Lathan Van Ausdall.

Trailing 8-3 in the top half of the seventh inning, the Stix rallied to score three times when Ethan Mendoza led off the frame with a solo home run, followed by Carter Olson, who homered with Kayden Voelkel on base to trim the UBC National lead. Relief pitcher Isaac Thornton struck out William Vasseur to end the threat and finish off the Stix.

Jacob Morgan earned the win for UBC National, throwing 5 2/3 innings and allowing only three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven batters.

The UBC National team will attempt to stave off elimination yet again when they face the Colton Nighthawks on Thursday afternoon at Ricketts Park.

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