The elite of 11: MuckDawgs beat Rebels in Class AAA
Caleb Thompson pitched a one-hit shutout for the MuckDawgs as they defeated the Oxford Rebels 8-0 on Sunday at the Starkville Sportsplex. (Photo by Danny P. Smith, SDN)
Winning a state championship is something MuckDawgs Baseball wanted to do when they were formed five years ago.
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The Madison-based youth team has been a tight group and have only lost a few players through the five years.
On Sunday, they got that state championship as they downed The Rebels of Oxford 8-0 in four innings to claim the United States Speciality Sports Association 11-year old AAA State championship at the Starkville Sportsplex.Â
"This team got together five years ago and we won a state championship together," MuckDawgs head coach Chris Hutchinson said. "This was our last tournament together and we wanted to go out on top. The boys set the goal and that's what they did."
The MuckDawgs went 1-1 in pool play, but rattled off four-straight wins in the single-elimination bracket to take the title. They beat Southern Rock 5-2 on Sunday morning to make it to the title game.Â
The lone loss for the MuckDawgs this week came to Starkville's Longhorns Baseball.
"They played hard all weekend," Hutchinson said whose team entered bracket play as the No. 8 seed. "They lost that (second) pool game and they gave everything they had the rest of the way."
The MuckDawgs got a good performance from Caleb Thompson on the mound. He was one out away from a no-hitter, but an infield single by Ty Wicker ended that bid. Wicker was cut down trying to steal on the very next pitch and the MuckDawgs dog-piled on the mound celebrating their title.Â
Thompson had one strike out, but walked two batters and hit another two. He never faced more than five batters in an inning.
"You can't say enough about Tank (Thompson)," Hutchinson said. "We call him Tank for a reason. He's up there, he fires it and he goes after it. He challenges every batter he faces."
Thompson was given a 3-0 lead after the first inning. The MuckDawgs started the bottom of the opening inning with four-straight hits. Dylan Coleman and Preston Soper started the frame with back-to-back singles. Jonathan Roberson drove in Coleman with a ground-rule double.
Thompson helped himself with a two-run single to push the lead to 3-0.
The top of the order came through again in the third inning. The first four batters reached via three walks and hit batter. Justin Bergeron and Colton Gardner each had two-run singles to give the MuckDawgs the 8-0 lead, which was enough for a four-inning run rule victory.Â
"You can't say enough about Dylan Coleman," Hutchinson said. "He hit probably .850 this weekend, (but) pretty close. He was on base and he led. When he does that, everybody follows up behind him."