AMBER – Amber-Pocasset’s junior high baseball team pulled off a gutty, come-from-behind win over Minco Saturday morning to grab the 2008 Grady County championship.

The Panthers dug themselves into a 4-0 first-inning hole on their home field but didn’t get rattled, answering with a three-run second to get close and a six-run third to blow the game open. Minco scratched out one more run in the fourth but Am-Po pitcher Peyton Benson slammed the door on them in the fifth for the win.

Benson went the distance after coming on in relief with one out in the first after Minco roughed up starter Tucker Collins. Collins got the first Bulldog batter but got tagged for four quick runs on a pair of hits, a pair of walks and a pair of Panther errors.

Minco starter Cade Baade got the hook in the second after hitting the first two batters. Reliever Steve Whalen then walked four for a pair of runs and a fielder’s choice on Craig Patten’s grounder got the Panthers within one.

Eleven hitters came up in the third and Am-Po scored six runs on two hits and three costly Bulldog errors to separate for good.

Ryan Cauthan’s grounder plated a run, Josh Jackson’s dropped fly ball to right scored another then Jeff Jackson ripped a two-run single into left-center. Kyler Nichols’ single scored Patten and Jackson stole home on a wild pitch for a 9-4 lead.

Minco got to Benson for a run in the fourth on Baade’s triple and Lane Pack’s double but it was a case of too little, too late. Benson left Pack stranded then forced two quick come-backers and a routine infield groundout in the fifth to finish it.

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