Note: This story was originally published in the Farmington Daily Times, and can be viewed here. Photo by Matt Hollinshead of the Daily Times.
FARMINGTON – The Farmington Fuel’s first-ever Connie Mack World Series experience is quickly becoming one for the ages.
Just like it did during its City Tournament championship run, the Fuel continues to battle — and thrive — on the big stage.
And after winning its CMWS debut, a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Colton Nighthawks on Monday night at Ricketts Park, this team looks to keep pushing its limits.
But even if they play the iconic event for each of the next 14 years, the chances are slim that they would win again like they did Monday night at Ricketts Park.
“This team, they just battle through anything,” said Fuel pitcher Dawson Merryman, who threw 3 2/3 critical innings in relief. “They believe they can do it. They want to be here, and they want to do it.”
Down 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the Fuel looked for some magic. After Cade Acrey and Danny Carpenter both reached base to start the rally, the Fuel seized its chance.
Cameron Stephenson put the ball in play for Farmington with runners on first and second, but the Nighthawks’ third baseman threw the ball to a Nighthawk-less first base.
The crowd erupted as the ball rolled away, and Carpenter fed off that atmosphere and energy from the crowd as he dashed home all the way from first.
“It’s just the fans and the crowd, the experience of being here is amazing. I’ve never experienced something like this, it’s just an atmosphere that’s unexplainable,” Merryman said.
The Fuel last played on July 21, when it beat Flat Bill in the City Tournament finals to earn its golden ticket to the CMWS.
With its first-ever CMWS win in the books, they hope more wins soon follow.
“We know we have an uphill battle, but we have a lot of great kids,” coach Kim Carpenter said. “We have a lot of heart, so we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to fight as hard we as can.”
David Lynch is a digital producer at KOB4 in Albuquerque. He can be reached via Twitter at @RealDavidLynch.