ALTOONA - Talk about a perfect start.
The Mifflin County Babe Ruth 13-year-olds scored 45 runs on 45 hits, didn't make an error and only gave up one run on three hits in two games against Gettysburg in the District 7 tournament.
However, in baseball, perfect is a word that isn't used often.
And starting today, the Mifflin County all-stars will have a much tougher grind ahead of them in the Pennsylvania state tournament.
Mifflin County will play four games from Wednesday through Saturday and then have to wait on Sunday to see if it makes it into the final six of the tournament, which starts Monday and is single elimination.
The state championship game is set for Wednesday (July 25) at 5 p.m.
On Wednesday, Mifflin County will open the tournament by playing Middletown Township, the District 3 (Bucks County) champion at 5 p.m.
Thursday the team will have an early start as it plays at 11 a.m. against Brookhaven, the District 6 winner. On Friday, Mifflin County takes on the host Altoona at 5 p.m. and on Saturday, Mifflin County closes out pool play by taking on West End of Williamsport, the District 8 entry, at 11 a.m.
Other teams in the tournament are District 4 runner-up Pottsville; Broomall-Newtown, the District 1 champion; Valley West (Hazleton area), the District 4 champion; and District 1 runner-up Ridley.
Monday and Tuesday are set aside for the quarterfinals and the semifinals.
"I think all three of our strong suits were pitching, fielding and timely hitting," Fred Zook, the Mifflin County manager, said, "We know that we have some strong teams to play. The schedule maker didn't do us any favors. But that's good, as we will find out how we stand right away."
Zook now has a 473-293 overall record and a 93-34 mark in all-star play. He has guided 10 Mifflin County teams into the state's final four.
Cade Attick, Ty Bodtorf and Jordan Marshall all had great days with the bats in the district tournament. Attick scored seven times on five hits and knocked in four runs. Bodtorf scored five times, had seven hits and drove in 11 runs. Marshall also scored five times, had five hits and knocked in three runs.
Trent Hidlay also had four hits, while Jake Spickler drove in three runs.
Mifflin County pounded out eight extra-base hits. Bodtorf had three, two doubles and a triple. Damon Jasper rapped two triples, while Attick, Marshall and Colby Kreider each had doubles.
On the mound, Mifflin County used three pitchers. Bodtorf had a complete game (five innings) as he struck out 10, walked no one and gave up one hit and no runs.
Attick matched him pitch for pitch as he went four innings in the second game and gave up no hits, struck out six and walked one. Isaac Maclay finished the game for Mifflin County and gave up two hits and a run.
Mifflin County enters the state tournaments with a lifetime 584-248 record.