Walk-off seals the deal in Jays victory over Mudcats

By GameChanger Media

Both the hometown Mudcats and Jays returned to Arlington this weekend for the 2024 Grain Belt Premium Light Invite Tournament.  Each has won the tournament in the past, the Jays three previous times, and the Mudcats most recently last year.  With a series of wins in the tournament by both teams, they wound up facing each other in the championship on Sunday afternoon.  And in dramatic fashion, the Prior Lake Jays took the game with a 7-6 walk-off victory over their townball sibling, Prior Lake Mudcats.

The Mudcats opened the scoring in the top of the first thanks to two singles. They first got on the board when Jonny Houston singled, scoring two runs and then plated an additional run.  The Cats added another run in the second off of a Charlie Bredeson single, making the score 4-1.

The Jays would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a walk by Nate Bodine, and a single by Beau Rabey.

A single by John Parker gave the Prior Lake Mudcats the lead, 6-5, in the top of the fifth.

That’s when things got interesting. The Jays were down 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning when a balk was called, bringing in Nate Bodine, the tying run, across the plate. Quickly, Mitchell Goodwin singled, scoring Beau Rabey, who scored from second.

Beau Rabey of the Prior Lake Jays was the 2024 Arlington Grain Belt Premium Light Invite Tournament MVP.

Brady Baur earned the win for the Prior Lake Jays. The reliever allowed no hits or runs over two innings, striking out four and walking one. Sam Brower opened the game for Jays. He gave up seven hits and five runs (four earned) over three and two-thirds innings, striking out one and walking one. Nick Allbee led things off on the bump for the Mudcats. Allbee gave up five hits and five runs (four earned) over six innings, striking out eight and walking four. Jon Tolbert appeared in relief for Prior Lake Jays.

Rabey went 2-for-4 at the plate, leading the team with two runs batted in. The first baseman would also go on to be named the tournament MVP, going 6-for-10 on the weekend with five singles, one double, four RBI, and a stolen base.

The Mudcats piled up nine hits in the game. Houston provided pop in the middle of the lineup, and the team with three runs batted in. He went 2-for-4 on the day. Bredeson and Houston each collected two hits for the Prior Lake Mudcats. Jager Leverson stole two bases. The ‘Cats ran wild on the base paths, amassing four stolen bases for the game and turning two double plays on defense in the game.

The Prior Lake Jays are the 2024 Arlington Grain Belt Premium Light Invite Tournament Champions.