Mudcats come out swinging in runaway

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 29, 2002

Josh Eargle, right, is congratulated by teammates after hitting a second-inning home run in the Mississippi Mudcats’ Governor’s Cup win on Saturday. (The Vicksburg Post/jon giffin)

[07/28/02]The Mississippi Mudcats started strong and didn’t let up on the Culkin Bulldogs in a 19-1 win at Halls Ferry Park Saturday during the 7-8-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup tournament.

“The kids in our middle lineup knocked in a lot of runs,” Mudcats coach Marshall Upton said. “We got people on base in front of them, that was the key, and they knocked them all in.

“Everybody did their part.”

Later Saturday, the Mudcats beat another crosstown rival to clinch a wildcard berth in today’s championship round. Kawayne Mason went 3-for-3 with a home run and scored three runs, Andrew Moroney went 2-for-2 with a double, and Caleb Upton had a grand slam as the Mudcats beat the River City Tigers 13-1.

The Mudcats will face the River City Rangers, a team from Natchez, today at 2 p.m. at the BMX Field. The Madison-Ridgeland All-Stars and the River Dogs, from Lutcher, La., will play the other semifnal at 2 p.m. at the American Field. The winners will meet on the American Field at 5 p.m. in the championship game.

The Mudcats’ game against Culkin was called in the fourth because of the mercy rule.

“Our batting didn’t come around like we usually have,” said Bulldogs coach Perry Boyd, who pitched for his team because pitchers aren’t used in this age group. “But the Mudcats are a real good team and all we can do is come in and try.”

The Bulldogs failed to score until the bottom of the third when Blake Rigsby hit a home run in his lone plate appearance. Cole Trim went 2-for-2 and both Michael Whitley and Chase Lad got a hit.

The Mudcats, playing in their 16th tournament of the summer, had a little more success hitting the ball, led by Josh Eargle’s 3-for-3 performance, highlighted by a home run and a double. Caleb Upton went 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Will Stegall went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

“It was a group of eight-year-old kids sitting there talking to each other, Hey, man, we got to do good today,'” Upton said. “So they did the work and they came out ready to play.”