BOONEVILLE – J.G. Miley watched the movie “42” this spring and borrowed a run-producing strategy from the film’s legendary subject, Jackie Robinson, the late baseball Hall of Famer.
The speedy outfielder for the Tupelo American Legion 49ers baseball team wanted to imitate the Brooklyn Dodgers player who broke baseball’s color barrier and attempt a steal of home during in a game.
Miley has been successful this summer. He recorded his fourth steal of home in Friday’s 9-0 victory against Itawamba County in the Tupelo 49ers Invitational at Harold T. White Field.
“The first time was in the all-star game this summer,” Miley said. “This was my third time in Legion ball.”
Miley watches for pitchers with a “real slow” windup. Apparently, he thought Itawamba right-hander Tory Gifford could be caught off guard.
And while Miley’s steal and head-first slide didn’t come in the World Series against the Yankees, he did enjoy the thrill.
“It’s an adrenaline rush; it’s fun,” he said, then smiled.
Miley’s run gave the 49ers a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning. He reached base with a single to lead off the frame. Tupelo went on to score four runs in the inning and build its 9-0 lead.
hits keep coming
Tupelo’s bats produced 10 hits in the five-inning game, two each from Tanner Poole, Destin Hahn and pitcher McKamy Smith. Poole had the team’s lone extra-base hit, an RBI double in the third.
Smith, a right-hander, held the Cardinals to three hits, including a double by Kossuth’s postseason star Josh Whitaker in the fourth. Devin Orr had two singles for Itawamba.
“I felt like all my pitches were there,” said Smith, who will be a redshirt freshman this year for Blue Mountain College. “The defense also made a few big plays.”
One of those was a triple play in the third.
Tupelo coach Kirk Presley, whose team improve to 12-9 overall, was pleased with Smith’s effort and the 49ers’ offense.
“He pitched really well,” Presley said. “You want to see that from your pitchers late in the season. It was good to see our players get their bats back.”