Connie Mack World Series ETT pinch-hit

Connie Mack World Series ETT pinch-hit

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Farmington

Aidan Etsitty did not have a favorite senior year.

The Piedra Vista outfielder tore his posterior cruciate ligament a week before the start of the spring season and missed a chance to play for his sophomore team.

But in rehab, he joined the 505 Panthers in the 2022 Connie Mack World Series representing the Farmington City League.

ATT said: “This has been a very difficult journey. Ever since I started playing baseball, I’ve wanted to be here since I was three years old.

“I loved every bit of it,” he added.

Etsitty was one of three Native Americans on the 505 Panther squad, mostly members of the Piedra Vista baseball team.

Other natives who made the team included Arnold James and Israel Janssen.

Among the trio, ETT hit .505 for the Panthers on July 27 in an elimination game against the Florida Legends.

505 ATT struck in the top of the seventh as the Panthers were shut out of extra innings after a short 8-2 run.

505 “He’s a graduating senior,” Panthers coach Jeff Kiraly said. “We felt he deserved an at-bat, so we gave him one.”

The pitches that ETT saw in the Connie Mack World Series were throwing less, and they had more control.

“These guys were throwing in the high 80s, so it was a big adjustment,” ETT said. “I did what I could.”

Although he didn’t get any playing time, James said it was good to be in his first Connie Mack tournament.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I had to practice this with all my teammates.”

505 The Panthers went 10-2-1 overall, with both players getting plenty of playing time in the Farmington City League and losing just two games to the Frakers.

Despite finishing second to the Frackers in the regular season, the 505 Panthers won the city tournament to qualify.

“I think it was an even match,” Etsitty said of their arch-rivals the Frakers.

But in the city tournament, the difference came down to pitch rotation.

“Our pitchers were amazing,” ETT said. That’s how we did it and without them we probably wouldn’t be here.

In the fall, ETT is headed to Eastern New Mexico University and is set to try out and walk on to the Greyhounds baseball team.

“That’s the plan,” the 505 Panthers outfielder said. “I think I’ll have a few offers, but I didn’t get to play my senior year.”

James, meanwhile, sees himself in the pitching rotation for PV under Kiriali for the spring of 2023.

“Picking is one of my favorite things to do,” he said.

Entering his senior year, James is a right-handed pitcher. He has three pitches in his repertoire: fastball, changeup and curveball.

“We’re going to have Arnold back for one more year,” Kiraly said, adding that most of his players will be seniors this year.

“It’s been a great experience for our guys at Piedra Vista High and it’s helped them mature,” he said.

With their experience, Jones believes the upcoming season will be bright for the PV team next season as they will compete against Eldorado, Farmington, La Cueva, Sandia and West Mesa in District 2-5A.

“I believe there is a lot of potential for this team,” he said.

Last season, the Panthers finished fourth in the six-team district with a 5-5 record.

“We had five teams, so in my opinion, we played in the toughest district in the region,” Kiraly said, adding that he expects another tough outing.


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