Midland Baseball captures 17th Connie Mack World Series title

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − The Midland (Ohio) Baseball team held off a furious rally Friday night, beating Dallas-based D-Bat United 9-8 to secure the 2022 Connie Mack World Series in front of nearly 6000 fans in attendance at Ricketts Park.

Midland went into the seventh inning with a 9-5 lead, thanks to timely hitting by Tate Farquhar and Riley Nelson as well as a gem of a pitching performance by CJ Hanson.

D-Bat United, which earlier in the day rallied from a 5-0 deficit, scoring 14 times in the sixth inning of a semifinal win over the Florida Legends, nearly erased another seemingly impossible situation in the title game. RBI base hits from Andrew Mac Rose, Andrew Tellia and Hunter Smith got D-Bat United within one run of tying the game with a runner on third with two outs.

More:D-Bat United baseball coach Ryan Bonesio after their win Tuesday over the Texas Stix

Will Murphy, who came into the game in relief of Hanson with one out in the seventh inning, recorded the final out when Patrick Engskov's flyball to right field was run down by Farquhar to secure the win and Midland's 17th CMWS crown.

Midland appeared to be well on their way to victory in the championship game early in the contest, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Isaac Wachsmann's 2-RBI single did the majority of the damage in the opening frame, scoring Farquhar and Luke Vaughn while Gunnar Myro and Nelson also drove in a run to give Midland an early advantage.

Nelson wound up with three hits on the night, capping off a solid tournament run, in which he went 6-for-12 with eight RBI's and four runs scored.

Midland Baseball players run onto the field after winning the 2022 Connie Mack World Series championship game against D-BAT United on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Ricketts Park.

"He's just an incredible player," Midland head coach Dave Evans said of Nelson after the game. "He does everything and he's just an unbelievable leader for this team."

D-Bat clawed back with a pair of runs in the second inning, then took the lead in the bottom half of the third. Tellia's 2-run home run in the second inning got D-Bat on the board before runs by Ryan Black, Tavion Vaughns and Max Belyeu put D-Bat in front heading into the fourth inning.

Midland starting pitcher Jackson Soucie, who went 2 2/3 innings before being pulled in favor of Trevor Ziegler, combined to give up five runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Midland turned the ball over to Hanson with two out in the bottom of the third and bases loaded for D-Bat United. Hanson promptly struck out Weston Duncan to end the threat.

"(Hanson) did a great job getting us out of a jam with the bases loaded," said Evans. "He got us out some big time trouble and had a great night."

Hanson would go on to throw 3 2/3 innings, striking out seven and allowing only a pair of base hits before the seventh inning.

Midland would regain the lead in the process, scoring four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Andrew Edrington and Phoenix Meza turned early walks into runs after back-to-back wild pitches from D-Bat hurler Ben Abeldt, who surrendered a pair of runs. Abeldt was replaced by Tate Evans and later Garrett Carter, who both combined to give up four hits and three walks to put Midland back in front 8-5.

More:Midland pitcher CJ Hanson reacts to winning 2022 Connie Mack World Series

Midland tacked on another run in the top of the sixth inning when Jake Daltrui hit a one-out triple, then later scored on a passed ball to give Midland a 9-5 lead heading into the seventh.

Midland Baseball's Isaac Wachsmann hits a ground ball up the middle and gets on base against D-BAT United in the Connie Mack World Series championship game on Friday, July 29, 2022 at Ricketts Park.

D-Bat United's rally in the final frame was nothing new for the team, which had earned a pair of wins this series after trailing late in the game. D-Bat rallied from a 2-run deficit to beat the Texas Stix in a second round game on Tuesday at Ricketts Park, and broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning of a pool play game last weekend against the 505 Panthers.

D-Bat pulled off one of the more remarkable rallies of the tournament earlier on Friday when eliminating the Florida Legends 14-5. Trailing 5-0 heading into the sixth inning, D-Bat sent 18 batters to the plate and broke a Connie Mack World Series record by scoring 14 runs in one inning, one more than the record previously set by Marietta, Georgia in 1999 and equaled by Houston, Texas in 2008.

"We've always had the idea that we're going to fight back," said coach Ryan Bonesio. "We took a punch and we're going to punch back."

Friday night, though, the rally fell just a bit short as Midland added another Connie Mack World Series trophy to their mantle.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling," Evans said after the win. "I'm so happy for everyone involved with this team."

Midland rolled through the tournament with a record of 5-0 in bracket play and 2-1 in pool play, outscoring their opposition by a combined margin of 61-30. Midland earned their way into the title game Friday afternoon by cruising past the Colton Nighthawks by a final of 9-1 in a six-inning semifinal game. Pitcher Miguel Hugas earned the win, throwing a complete game and allowing six hits and no walks.

Other top performers for Midland in the tournament were Wachsmann, who went 4-for-11 at the plate with seven RBI's, as well as well as Meza, who went 6-for-11 at the plate, scored five runs and also recorded four walks during the series.

D-Bat United, which has come up short in the CMWS title game for the second consecutive year, finishes the tournament with a record of 3-0 in pool play and 4-2 in bracket competition. D-Bat lost to the Enid Majors in the championship game by a final of 4-1.

"I'm so proud of who these guys are as ball players and as young men," Bonesio said after the game. "They didn't quit on themselves or their fans or the coaches. They fought back from everything you could ask for."

For more information on the Connie Mack World Series, check out their official website at CMWS.org.