Perry HR sparks Rebel League to wild win

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2003

MAGEE &045; The Rebel League All-Stars just don’t do anything easy.

But that’s OK &045; as long as it went down as a win you won’t hear anyone complaining. The Rebel League rallied for a 9-5 win Monday in seven innings over Cleveland to advance to the finals of the winners’ bracket at the Dixie Youth Minor League state tournament in Magee.

Down 4-3 heading into its last at-bat, the Rebel League got a two-run homer from Christopher Perry to take a one-run lead before Cleveland tied it up to go into extra innings.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;They just battled hard,&uot; Rebel head coach Tom Middleton said. &uot;When they got their backs to the wall, they just reached down in their hearts, came back and battled. That’s what it was tonight &045; a tremendous fight. They’re putting a lot of gray hairs in my head, but I can’t say enough about them fighting back.

When bonus baseball arrived, the Rebel League had to face two opponents &045; Cleveland and the sprinkler system that went off for some time to halt play. But after a delay the Rebel League rallied for four runs to take the lead.

James Moffett singled in Brandon Sanders, Garrett Smith singled in Moffett and Caleb Upton singled in two runs for the 9-5 lead.

Perry then came in after starter Hunter Hatcher went six innings to close the door.

But the shot off Perry’s bat no doubt was the shot that got everyone’s blood flowing. He put one over the center field fence with a runner on base for a 5-4 Rebel lead.

&uot;That was a heck of a blast,&uot; Middleton said. &uot;That was a 9-year-old &045; not a 10-year-old. I haven’t seen a 9-year-old hit a ball like that in a long time. But give Cleveland some credit. They battled back, and I’m just glad we came out on top.&uot;

Natchez led 2-0 after the first inning and held a 3-0 lead until a Cleveland took advantage of a couple errors in the fourth for four runs off Hunter Hatcher to take the 4-3 lead that stood until the sixth.

&uot;Hunter Hatcher did an outstanding job like we knew he would,&uot; Middleton said. &uot;He got tired and went six innings, and that’s all you can ask of anybody. The defense let us down in the first inning. I’ve been bragging all year on our defense, and tonight was the second time our defense has made two crucial errors. But it was only the second time they’ve done that all year.&uot;