LEWISTOWN - Dark and gloomy.
That's how you could describe Mifflin County Legion's second round Central Penn League playoff game with Clearfield.
As the sun retreated and the clouds took over, Mifflin County took a 10-6 loss against Clearfield on Friday in the elimination bracket of the CPL playoffs.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY?KREITZER
Mifflin County’s Haden Snook connects for a single in the fourth inning against Clearfield during Mifflin County’s 10-6 loss in the Central Penn League American Legion playoffs Friday in Lewistown.?See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com.
Although there was heavy cloud cover and rain threatened the entire game, Mifflin County and Clearfield were able to play a complete game - a game which resulted in Mifflin County's elimination from the tournament.
Despite the loss, Mifflin County was the first team to strike, scoring runs in both the first and the second to take a 3-0 lead over Clearfield.
This lead dwindled in the top of the third, however, when the Clearfield batters broke the game open, using that inning to score seven of their 10 runs for the game.
Clearfield's offensive wallop in the third began when lead-off batter Wyatt Westen reached first on an error at short stop. After Westen got on base, the rest of the inning was history. The Clearfield batters continued to pound the ball, forcing mistakes from Mifflin County's defense, and allowing Clearfield to bat through its entire lineup.
In the next inning, the top of the fourth, Mifflin County's Heath Hidlay took the mound from starting pitcher Evan Pupo. Hidlay successfully slowed down Clearfield's offense, notching three strikeouts for the game, but still allowed Clearfield to score three more runs for the remainder of the game.
According to Mifflin County coach Larry Wolfe, some of Mifflin County's defensive woes may have occurred because an injury which removed Jordan Wolfkill from the game in the bottom of the second. That required some of the players to shift around to positions they normally wouldn't have filled.
"Wolfkill got hurt, and that put us in a position where we had to move some guys into a position they weren't familiar with," Wolfe said. "We sort of paid the price for that the next inning."
However, despite their difficulties on the defensive end, the Mifflin County boys were active offensively the entire game. After scoring their initial three runs in the first two innings, the Mifflin County batters kept putting the ball in play, and were able to score one additional run in the fourth, and two runs in the sixth.
Mifflin County's run in the fourth was scored when Aaron Michaels, who had reached first on a bunt, was able to advance three more bases on an RBI single deep into right field by Joey Knepp.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mifflin County's Seth Bowersox reached first on a line drive to center field. Bowersox then advanced to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and was then brought home on an RBI single by Cy Treaster. Treaster was then advanced to second by Knepp, and sent home on an RBI double by Pupo.
These runs scored by Mifflin County's batters were helpful, but they weren't enough to let the team ever recover the lead from Clearfield.
"If we had had a couple two-out hits in the early innings, it would have been better," Wolfe said of his team's batting performance. "When you get into games like this in the playoffs, you need to score those extra runs - you need to do those extra things - but to their credit or our discredit, we weren't able to do that."
However, despite the loss, Wolfe was proud of his team.
"I was pleased with our effort," Wolfe said. "We got down and we kept plugging back. So, I'm happy with that for the kids."