Naa’taanii finds redemption

At World Series qualifying tourney, team fights to advance

Runner gets his back tagged by baseball glove

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Pumpjacks’ Jeff Gardenhire (7), left, chases down Naa’taanii’s John Slape III (3) during the Connie Mack World Series at the Farmington Sports Complex in Farmington July 11.

FARMINGTON

If Naa’taanii was going to end their season in the 2017 Farmington Amateur Baseball Congress City Tournament, they were going to go down swinging.

On Tuesday against the Pumpjacks in the second round of the tournament, they didn’t go down but swung their way to 7-2 victory. They advanced to the third round in the losers bracket and met 4-C Gamboa on Wednesday. Results were not available by press time.

Winner of the tournament will be the host team in the 2017 Connie Mack World Series, which begins at the end of July.

Dineh Benally said the victory gave his team the redemption needed after falling short in the first round to 4-C Clubsox, 15-2.

Benally said they entered the first and second round game swinging but only got the results they wanted against the Pumpjacks.

“Four Corners Clubsox was a strong-hitting team, but the umpiring, I wasn’t happy with it yesterday behind the plate. Hopefully they improve on it and they call it fair,” Benally said. “If they call it fair, we’ll be fine.”

Naa’taanii put up two quick points at the top of the first inning to lead 2-0. They allowed one run at the bottom of the inning as the Pumpjacks trailed them 2-1. Naa’taanii leveled out in the second inning, allowing the Pumpjacks to score again and tie the game 2-2.

Naa’taanii gained momentum again at the top of the fourth with two runs to lead 4-2.

It was about that time that Naa’taanii pitcher Carlos Dominguez finally got comfortable.

Dominguez, who has signed to play college baseball with Wayland Baptist University in Texas, said it took time for him to adjust and, once he did, there was no turning back.
“The first two innings I really struggled finding the strike zone,” he said. “I couldn’t really locate my fastball and once I got comfortable, I really didn’t throw much but a fastball until they got a hit then I would switch it up.”

Dominguez held the Pumpjacks at two runs for the remainder of the game as his teammates continued to swing the bats on offense.


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Categories: Baseball

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com.