Dupree, Mariners take Babe Ruth title
You might call Greg Dupree the “screwdriver” from now on.
He’s the El Dorado Savings Bank Mariner that slowly disassembled the Sierra-at-Tahoe Giants in Babe Ruth championship baseball on Sunday.
Hitting 4 for 5 with five RBIs, a double, and making two double plays, Dupree led his team playing the kind of baseball that will make an opponent who has played five days straight fall apart in the afternoon heat.
That’s exactly what happened to the Giants, who won four of their last five playoff games but lost to the Mariners 14-11 in the Babe Ruth championship at Todd Fields.
And, for the most part, they fell apart only one time.
Tied 9-9 in the bottom of the sixth, the Giants made six of nine errors for the day and allowed five runs off one Mariner hit.
“They kept coming all season long,” said Giants manager Doug Van Gorden. “Both of these teams learned the game of baseball this year. (But) we ran out of gas.”
And, after battling through the consolation bracket, beating teams like the Cubs and the Rangers, they were tired when the game started, too.
Dupree began with a two-run double against Jake Jacobs to bring in Cody Harrington and Jamie Moore for the Mariners’ first two runs in the bottom of the first.
After Jacob Hash’s sacrifice fly, the Giants’ pitcher struck out the next two batters but hit J.P. Foster in the hands, then hit Chris Anton in the head to walk the fourth run across home plate.
Brian Vogt relieved Jacobs and ended the inning, but not before walking Severin Nobriga with the bases loaded to allow the fifth run.
The Giants then made a dramatic rally in the second to take a three-run lead.
Jacobs hit a three-run double off Jerel Dutton after Ian Rice’s RBI single and Dan Swain’s sacrifice fly to bring the Giants ahead 6-5.
Vogt then smashed an RBI triple down the first-base line deep into right field. An error at third in the same play allowed him to score, putting the Giants up 8-5.
Vogt and Curtis Maxwell, who came in for Vogt for the last out in the third, held the Giants’ lead until the bottom of the fifth inning.
Then Anton, the Mariner’s catcher, scored and Will Jaffe, the 10th batter in the order, scored on an error.
Dupree then hit an RBI single bringing Jamie Moore home to tie the game at 9-9 heading into the top of the sixth.
“I haven’t been hitting,” said Dupree after the game, alluding to his 0 and 4 performance against the Reds in the semifinals. “I picked a hell of day to start.”
After Elijah Townsend grounded out, Anton caught Mikey Van Gorden stealing second.
Dupree then made the third out throwing to first.
If Dupree can be known as the screwdriver, then Jacob Hash — the pitcher who relieved Dutton for the last out in the second inning — has to be the miracle worker that made it all happen.
Hash pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Mariners, allowing nine hits, three runs and striking out only two batters.
“My arm felt real good when I started. At the top of the seventh, my arm started feeling tired,” he said. “But I had great defense behind me.”