The D-Backs are the Turlock National Major League Champions after defeating the Mets in back-to-back games this week, concluding with Wednesday’s mercy-rule victory that ended in a 11-1 final in the bottom of the fourth inning from Soderquist Park.
“We started off great for the year and made it to the playoffs as the first-place team,” said D-Backs head coach Jorge Orozco. “We had to come back from being the underdogs to win it.”
“Tonight, I think they just got to us early and we lost momentum and I think that is what cost us a little bit,” said Mets head coach Matt Day. “They had their best pitching tonight, which is awesome because Simmons has had a great season. I am real proud of the boys, they did a really good job, had a great season, they should be proud of themselves.”
The D-Backs are now in the City title game against the American League’s White Sox, set for Monday.
“I am excited,” said Orozco about reaching the City title game. “First time as a manager, so kind of nervous.”
The victory didn’t come easy for the D-Backs, however.
They closed out the regular season with a league-best record of 20-1, which gave them the top seed.
The Mets on the other hand went 15-6 for the year and were the third seed heading into the postseason.
The Mets came out on fire and beat the Pirates in the first round followed by a 10-6 upset over the D-Backs in their first meeting of the postseason.
This sent the D-Backs into the elimination bracket.
“We were on fire to start the tournament, came out and played well right away,” said Day.
The D-Backs then forced a winner-take-all scenario on Wednesday. Something they took advantage of early on.
“They outsmarted us with the upset,” said Orozco of the first and only loss to the Mets. “So, we needed to win two more.”
Fortunately for the D-Backs they had their ace in Nicholas Simmons on the mound and dominated Wednesday’s game.
Simmons pitched all four innings, tossing 75 pitches while allowing just a single run from the Mets in the top of the second.
By that point, the D-Backs already led 6-1 after notching half a dozen runs in the first.
Two more runs were added by the D-Backs in the bottom of the second that saw Justin Hack and Dominic Maldonado score to go up 8-1.
Hack smacked a two-run single in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 10-1 before they ended the game in a mercy-rule decision in the fourth with a run scored off an RBI hit to make it 11-1.
“Came back from being the underdogs to winning Nationals,” said Orozco. “My two coaches and our drafting helped as well, Chris Orozco and John Hack, and had a lot of help from the announcer Jason Simmons, have to give him a lot of credit.”
The Mets are expected to send well over half their starting lineup to the All-Stars.
“Half a dozen or seven that I can think may make the All-Stars, but I am sure I have two 10s, two 11s and two 12s,” Day added about the All-Stars. “I am proud of them and they had an incredible season, I think we had three returners, and came out and it’s been a lot of fun. What I have is a great group of kids and parents, just came up short.”
The D-Backs are slated to face the Majors champions, the White Sox, for the City title from Julien Field at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
“We are ready for them, good thing we will have all our available pitchers so we will give them a battle,” Orozco added.
National’s Red Wings, who were the Minors winners, will take on the American’s Bandits from Julien Field at 5:15 p.m. Monday.