FARMINGTON – All the 4-Corners Frackers base runners need is that slightest jump start, and they can gradually build leads from there.
They’re using that extra second they can get to take off. Whether it’s off a quick bunt or deep sacrifice fly, a base hit down the third base line or a passed ball at home plate, 4C’s taking its chances.
And that’s what has propelled them into Friday’s City Tournament championship series.
“We don’t have to really struggle for the clutch hit anywhere in the lineup. Everybody can get it done,” shortstop Treston Shallenberger said. “We’re trying to get balls in play, runners moving. Every time they swing, we’re looking to get to the next bag.”
Players are buying extra time to dart across the bases and help tack on runs, scoping out various ways to do so.
“You always want to put runners in scoring position. If anybody can steal or advance on the bag, they’re most likely going to score,” center fielder Bradon Zastrow said. “Smart base running is always key.”
They’re relentless in such moments, including Tuesday when Emilio Pardo slid into home plate and Gage Mestas began darting across third base at the same time to easily score.
The insurance runs add up, and players’ confidence swells.
“Having a comfortable lead is always nice,” Zastrow said. “Every run counts when you get down to these games (late in the tournament).”
No matter the situation, 4C eyes that next chance to go from one bag to the next.
“Our team is very smart, and we’re very talented (with) where to hit the ball to move runners,” Shallenberger said.
Now one win away from the City Tournament title and a Connie Mack World Series berth, 4C will keep seizing opportunities to keep runners moving.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or on Twitter at @MattH_717.