BEAVER SPRINGS - Beaver Springs found out this week what a pennant race in the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League was like.
The Springs, which entered the league in 2009, has been trying to catch Lewistown, the league leader, all year, and trailed by four games when the week started. By Saturday, Beaver Springs had it down to three and half games and had a chance to cut it to two and half.
But, in a pennant race when every inning, every at bat and every pitch means something, the Springs had a devasting day on Saturday as it dropped a 10-9 game to Milroy in nine innings.
The Springs had a much easier day Sunday as McVeytown couldn't field enough players and had to forfeit, the second in two years to Beaver Springs on the road. Last year on the last day of the season, McVeytown again failed to field enough players and had to give up a win.
Now as the season heads into the stretch run, the Springs still trails Lewistown by three and a half games.
Milroy 10, Beaver Springs 9
BEAVER SPRINGS - The hero of the day for Milroy was Jacob Walters. And this time, he didn't do it with his bat or glove.
He did it with his arm.
Walters came in to pitch in the bottom of the third with two outs and Milroy down 7-1 and preceded to shut down one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
Walters only allowed two runs and two hits over the last five and one third innings. He struck out two, the first batter he faced and the final out of the game, and walked one.
Milroy kept chipping away at the Beaver Springs lead, but its big inning came in the sixth, when it scored five runs on four hits.
Barron Vogt had a two run single, while Walters had an RBI base hit and Graham Rhoades scored a run on a ground out. The other run came home on a wild pitch.
Beaver Springs tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as Alex Hackenberg walked, stole second and scored on an Adrian Martin double. Martin tried to score the winning run on a passed ball, but was tagged out at home.
Milroy broke the tie in the ninth as Walters led off with a double. Gage Boreman, a rookie, laid down a bunt that moved Walters to third and the hero of the day then scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
Smith led the Milroy attack with four hits. Walters, Vogt and Trevor Bulick all had two hits. Bulick had a key double to start the rally in the sixth, while Soles doubled to lead off the fourth and Smith had an RBI double in the fifth.
Beaver Springs was limited it to just seven hits and Martin and Tourtman each had two.
The win moved Milroy (12-10) into fourth place.
McVeytown 4, Strodes Mills 3
McVEYTOWN - McVeytown won its third game in its last four as it edged Strodes Mills, 4-3, on Saturday.
Strodes Mills made the game close as it rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Nate Fortson led off the seventh by drawing a walk. Arlin Stoltzfus was sent into pinch run. Jonah Kile flew out to left, but Stoltzfus moved up the second on a ground ball to second base. He then landed on third thanks to a passed ball.
Luke Amspacker made it 4-1 with an RBI single and when Andrew Larson reached on an error, Amspacker moved to third. Derrick Kepner then ripped a double knocking in Amspacker. Larson made it 4-3 as he scored on a wild pitch. Kepner moved to third, but he stayed there as Andrew Bernstein grounded out to end the game.
Carter Spade started and was the winning pitcher for McVeytown. The 15-year-old went five innings and only allowed five hits, struck out two and didn't walk a batter. Lucas Harshbarger finished for McVeytown and got the save.
McVeytown only had five hits, but two of them came in the first inning when it scored three times.
Spade opened the first with a single. One out later, Drew Harshbarger was hit by a pitch. John Price then reached on an error scoring Spade. Christian Hagans grounded out to second scoring Drew Harshbarger. Dylan Fleisher singled home Price and it was 3-0.
McVeytown scored its other run in the fourth as Caleb Smith singled and moved up on a throwing error. Harlee Harshbarger had an infield single scoring Smith.
Amspacker and Kevin Cahill were the only Strodes Mills players with multiple hits and Cahill had a double in the fourth inning.
Nor-Gwyn 10, Mifflin County 0 (5 inn.)
Clearfield 10, Mifflin County 4
CLEARFIELD - After taking a pounding from one of the state's perennial favorites in Legion baseball, Mifflin County turned around and traveled to Clearfield Sunday.
That one was no fun, either. Former East Juniata pitcher Zach Yetter elevated the ball and gave up several hits to Clearfield, manager Larry Wolfe said, on the way to a 10-4 loss for the locals. On Saturday, Nor-Gwyn tossed Mifflin County 10-0 in five innings.
"They did a pretty classic job of hitting them where they ain't," Wolfe quipped about Sunday's game. His team hit the ball, he noted, just not enough to come back.
Mifflin County scored the first run in that game when Aaron Michaels walked, stole second, and came home courtesy of Isaac Strohecker.
"I was feeling almost good at that time," Wolfe said.
Heath Hidlay drove in a pair in fifth, Strohecker plated one in the sixth. Both had multiple hits for Mifflin County.
Mifflin County (1-3) travels to State College Tuesday for the first of three games in three days.
Lemont 12, Mifflin County Stars 2 (6 inn.)
LEMONT - The Mifflin County Stars fell to 2-6 in Centre County League action after dropping a 12-2, six-inning decision to a team that features a former Lewistown - and Penn State - standout.
Elliott Searer reached on an error in the bottom of the sixth to start a four-run frame that ended the game early. Two walks an a throwing error followed that.
"The last two innings did us in," Stars manager Danny Knepp said. "We ran outof gas."
Mifflin County scored both of its runs in the top of the sixth as Nick Pupo singled, Casey Zimmerman tripled and Hunter Walker had a base hit. But the Stars already were down 8-0 at that point.
Mifflin County hosts the Lewistown Predators at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Armagh Field.