June 25, 2008 Edition

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Twins contribute to team's victory;
Jacob Defries receives MVP honors



Jacob Defries (left) and his brother, Hayden, were members of the Tuckerman Bulldogs baseball team that won the 13AA USSSA State Tournament last weekend. Jacob was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Jacob Defries of Hoxie was named Most Valuable Player of the 13AA USSSA Baseball Tournament at Marion. Defries played catcher for the Tuckerman Bulldogs team, which won the state title with a 13-5 victory over the Arkansas Lightning on Sunday. Jacob's twin brother, Hayden, was the team's leftfielder.

"I didn't know I was up for any awards," said Jacob. "When they announced my name, I was surprised. When it turned out to be State MVP, I was really surprised." The Most Valuable Player honor was voted on by the umpires at the tournament.

Jacob remembers one exciting play in particular. "I was catching and I noticed the other team's coach giving his runner the 'steal' sign. The next pitch was a strike. I caught it, jumped to my feet and threw as hard as I could to second base. The shortstop caught it and tagged the runner out in a cloud of dust." Hayden also recalled an exciting play.

"I was batting. I was expecting an outside curve and when it came, I was ready for it. I grounded a double, running as hard as I could, and slid into second. Later, a hard line drive got me home," said Hayden.

"Everyone is proud of these boys representing Hoxie," Grant Interleno, the boys' grandfather, told The TD. "MVP is the highest individual award of the state tournament. Catching is a difficult position to play and to win MVP as a catcher is truly an accomplishment Jacob can be very proud of.

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