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Vauxhall Jets come back late to steal Memorial Day Tournament championship from Missoula Mavericks

Posted at 9:36 PM, May 27, 2019

MISSOULA — The Vauxhall Jets will have to declare some new hardware when they cross the border.

The Canadian team stole the championship of the Memorial Day Tournament from the hosting Missoula Mavericks in the final inning on Monday.

Trailing 2-0 into the sixth inning and 2-1 into the seventh and final inning, the Jets scored four runs to come back and beat the Mavs at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, 5-2. John Vulcano tied the game with a one-out RBI double to right. The next batter, Max Grant, drove in Vulcano with a base hit to center. Vauxhall scored two more in the inning and then shut down the Mavs in the bottom of the seventh to win the championship.

Vauxhall hammered Missoula 12-0 back on Friday, the first day of the tournament. But Missoula’s Dane Fraser shut down the Jets through five innings. Missoula scored one run on a walk with the bases loaded in the fourth and then added another in the inning when Thomas Martin knocked an RBI single to center. However, Sam Bucy was thrown out at home trying to bring in two runs on the play, and the Mavs never scored again.

Missoula clinched a spot in the championship by winning the final round-robin game before the championship. The Mavs scored seven runs in the first two innings to cruise past Great Falls, 8-3.

An error and a bases-clearing triple by Stewart Long gave Missoula a 4-0 lead after one inning. RBI singles by Drew Stensrud and Brendon Hill, plus a walk with the bases loaded pushed the lead to 7-0 in the second.

One big swing gave the Chargers life and almost got them back into the game. With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the third, Andrew Paradise drilled a line drive to left that came within a couple feet of clearing the tall wall at Ogren Park. Two runs ended up scoring on the near-grand slam, but the next batter grounded out to end the threat. Great Falls loaded the bases again with one out in the sixth but only managed one run in the frame.