Giants rally for stunning win over Mudcats

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Mississippi Mudcats’ Drew Newquist looks stunned after his team lost to the Delta Giants in the championship game of the 7- and 8-year-olds’ division of the Governor’s Cup on Sunday at Halls Ferry Park. (Melanie Duncan ThortisThe Vicksburg Post)

[7/28/03]With a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Delta Giants slipped past the Mississippi Mudcats 9-8 in the championship game of the 7- and 8-year-olds’ division of the Governor’s Cup.

The Mudcats took an 8-6 lead into the inning, but the Giants put together a string of hits before an error sent in the final run.

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Joseph Bagley got things started with a single, but was forced out at second when Raines Rester grounded to short.

After Ryan Dobbins popped out to the pitcher for the second out, the top of the Giants’ order came to the plate.

Jake Wooley singled and Austin Pupora doubled to the wall in left-center field to bring in Rester. Day-Day Jackson then doubled to right-center to tie the game at eight, but a strong relay throw prevented another run from scoring.

Will Thaggard hit an apparent ground out to end the inning, but an error by the Mudcats allowed him to reach safely and allowed the winning run to cross the plate.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes,” Mudcats coach Marshall Upton said. “I think we were a little over-eager. We thought nobody would be able to beat us.”

Upton said the Mudcats’ defense is usually one of the team’s strongest points, but it broke down at the end of the game, along with the hitting.

After scoring eight runs in the first three innings, the Mudcats could not bring another run in for the rest of the game.

A combination of good defense from Delta and bad base-running decisions by the Mudcats prevented any rallies from producing results.

“We kind of got into a comfort zone and took things for granted,” Upton said.

In the end, the Mudcats just ran out of gas. Upton blamed himself because he gave the team the week off before the Cup after getting back from the Super Series of America World Series.

“I took a chance and it cost us,” he said. “I could see them dragging out there.”

Wooley led Delta with three hits, three runs and an RBI. Jackson hit a pair of doubles with three RBIs.

Pupora and Joseph Bagley each had a double and a single.

Evans hit two singles and a double with three RBIs in the losing effort.

Drew Newquist added three hits, and Cameron Upton, Matthew Jones and Cale Luke each contributed two hits.