FARMINGTON — The 4-Corners ClubSox were shorthanded Wednesday night, but it didn’t make much of a difference as the Sox rolled past the Flat Bill Ducks 10-4 at Ricketts Park.
ClubSox assistant Jarod Burleson said the team’s small roster for the game was the result of several players taking family vacations.
Along with just 10 players listed on the roster for the game, 4-C kept its pitching workload light, sending three players — Jeremy Griffith, Kyle Dewees and Gavin Mestas — to the mound.
“We’ve got a big tournament this weekend, the High Desert (Classic), so we let some guys who don’t normally throw as much throw tonight,” Burleson said.
Flat Bill started well, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. But ClubSox’s pitcher Ben Griffith settled in after the first while his team scored four runs during the first two innings.
Burleson said the key to the Sox’s success in the first two innings was their ability to be patient at the plate, knowing they would see a lot of fastballs from the Ducks.
Flat Bill threatened in the top of the third, loading the bases in the inning, but 4-C got out of the jam to maintain its 4-2 advantage.
The ClubSox added one run in the fourth when Flat Bill pitcher Beau Crawford balked in a run.
The Ducks got back in the game in the fifth inning after Gabe Valdez and Derek Baca each drove in a run to cut the deficit to 5-4.
But the one-run margin didn’t last long, with the ClubSox scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth. In that inning, the Sox got an RBI single from Devin Ferrari, then a two-RBI single from Mestas to extend the lead to 8-4 before the first out was recorded. Mestas later came around to score on a Ducks error, their second of the inning, to make it 9-4.
“Youth. It’s our youth,” Flat Bill head coach Brett Alexander said of the errors. “We’ve played a lot of games, and sometimes it seems like we get better, and other times we get really flat and stagnant. We’re in a 5-4 ball game, then let them score five (runs). We’re not staying plugged in defensively.”
Kyle Dewees hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the final run of the inning.
The Sox and the Ducks will both head to Albuquerque this weekend for the High Desert Classic and one last test before the City Tournament — which gives the winner host team honors for the Connie Mack World Series — begins July 11. Alexander said he would like to see a couple of players on his squad step up and earn a larger role for the City Tournament while Burleson said one of the goals for the Sox this weekend is to build some momentum the team can carry into the CMWS qualifier.
“We want to simplify the game. A lot of times we make things to difficult and over think things,” Burleson said. “The main thing is fine tuning our approach, and the High Desert can provide us with a good jump to the City Tournament. We’re going to see some good teams and try to build some momentum.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.