MILROY - In baseball, as with any sport, there will always be players who put up the big numbers during the course of a game. When you think back, you'll have no trouble remembering who got the key strikeout, who had the big hits and who crossed the plate with the winning run.
What is sometimes forgotten are the little things - those things that have an enormous outcome in the end result. After Mifflin County's 7-4 victory over Broomall-Newtown to win the Babe Ruth 15s state championship on Thursday night, left fielder Levi North walked off the field with an 0 for 1 in the scorebook. But what many won't think to mention are the other four plate appearances that included two walks, two stolen bases, one run, a sacrifice bunt and a perfectly-executed suicide squeeze that gave the locals an insurance run in extra innings.
For North though, it was simply a case of accomplishing what needed to be done.
"We were looking to do that," North said of the squeeze call in the eighth inning. "I had already done that earlier in the season so we were hoping we would get another chance and we did - so it worked out."
Impressive, yes - and that's without bringing up his two diving catches in left field that drastically changed Broomall-Newtown's attack.
The first of two was a ball that was driven deep into the gap in left-center field with Mifflin County nursing a slim one-run lead. North's only chance was to dive away from the field of play, knowing if he misjudged that Broomall's batter could have coasted around the bases to untie the score with one swing.
He didn't miss.
"I got a good jump on it and that's the big thing," North explained. "But I kept my eyes on it the whole time and it fell in the glove for me. I just laid out there and didn't even really think about it."
For an encore, he stole another hit from Broomall-Newtown just an inning later - this time diving in on a ball that was about to fall in near the left field line.
"When you're in these tight games you've just got to lay it all out there," he said. "This could've been my last game so I was just trying to do that."
Now, North and the rest of his teammates have the chance to continue another successful season at the Mid-Atlantic Regional in New York state - a setting that promises to provide even more opportunities for the unsung hero that strives to do all of the little things for the betterment of the team.
Drew Pellman is a Sentinel sports reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.