FARMINGTON – Plunk. Plunk.
That was the sound of hope for the 4-C ClubSox, which pulled out a dramatic 5-4 walk-off win over the Fuel in Saturday’s Connie Mack City Tournament title game at Ricketts Park.
The 4-C ClubSox struggled to get things going for much of the night, as they were down 4-1 through the middle of the seventh inning, and their dugout was rather quiet.
The mood suddenly shifted in the bottom of the seventh inning when right fielder Dylan Pigford stepped into the box. Pigford took a pitch to his side with the bases loaded, driving in a run. Designated hitter Brandon Gardenhire got hit during the next at-bat, driving in yet another run.
“That was our sense of hope,” Pigford said. “Once we got hit, that’s where all the confidence came. Man, it was sparking through the dugout. It was awesome.”
Another pitch later went down the bottom right corner and behind the dish, allowing second baseman Gavin Mestas to score from third to tie the game at 4.
“You see real evidently how the pitch count affects the game. (The Fuel’s Cade Acrey) had our number. I was for sure (thinking) we were going another day,” said 4-C ClubSox coach Mike McGaha. “Plunked a kid with a curveball to lead off the inning, and then it was just a domino effect from there.”
First baseman Devin Ferrari ultimately delivered the final blow by hitting a short chopper up the middle, giving Pigford more than enough to time to score the game-winning run.
The 4-C ClubSox beat Strike Zone 8-0 via fifth-inning mercy rule earlier on Saturday, and they punched their ticket to the big show just a few hours later.
The ClubSox, who went undefeated at the tournament, will serve as the host team for the Connie Mack World Series July 27-Aug. 5 in front of the home crowd.
“All of us dreamed to go to the Connie Mack World Series as kids, so it just makes it even that much greater get a win off a walk-off like that," Pigford said. "The Fuel are such a great team, and they put up a fight."
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.