FREDERICK, Md. - Mifflin County struggled through three losses during its annual sojourn to Maryland, but the local American Legion baseball team ended the trip with a solid win.
Over the course of three days - Mifflin County played Thursday, Friday and twice Saturday - manager Larry Wolfe credited several players for good outings on the mound, and a pair with string hitting.
But it wasn't enough: Mifflin County sustained a 5-4 loss to Kane, N.H. in its opener, a game called on time in the sixth inning with Mifflin County at bat. The tournament has a strict 2 hour, 15 minute game limit, and Kane had the lead when the clock became Mifflin County's enemy.
A day later, the host edged Mifflin County 4-3.
"Heath Hidlay pitched well in 4-3 loss," Wolfe noted. "We just didn't score enough runs. I've always thought in wood bat baseball if we score five runs we have a really good chance of winning."
Wolfe said Isaac Strohecker was big at the plate in the early games. He said he got good innings on the bump from Blayz Shartzer.
On Saturday, Mifflin County suffered its only bad loss, 8-5 to Doylestown, Pa., a game that saw the opponent fueled by walks.
"What we really found out was what we've known all year: When we walk batters, it allows them to put pressure on our defense," Wolfe quipped.
In the finale, Mifflin County logged a 5-3 win over Cecil, Md., a team Wolfe said played well and had numerous older players on its roster.
In that game, Lucas McKay picked up the win and Ross Torquato a save. McKay, Wolfe said, was one of the leading hitters for the team through the tournament, with multiple doubles and a triple.
The weekend leaves Mifflin County with a 15-6 record , 12-3 in the Central Penn League, with one more league contest remaining against Clearfield Wednesday. The CPL tournament begins Friday.
Centre County League
Lewistown 7, Howard 0
HOWARD - Lewistown downed Howard 7-0 in a rained-shortened Centre County League baseball game Sunday.
The Predators got a strong performance from Tanner Kibe, who threw all five innings and did not allow a run. Morgan Barger hit a solo homer and the Predators also got three hits from Cy Treaster to defeat the Hawks.
A doubleheader slated to be played against Spring Mills Sunday was rained out.
The Predators are now 11-7, putting them in third in the league standings. Lewistown is back in action Tuesday at Pleasant Gap.
Little League softball
Mifflin County 4,
Bald Eagle Area 3
WINGATE - Pitching dominated the second-round Little League 9-10 softball game between Bald Eagle Area and Mifflin County, which Mifflin County won 4-3.
The game, which began Friday night, was suspended by a combination of lighning and darkness and completed Saturday.
Bald Eagle's Madison Fisher and Grace Hugar combined with Mifflin County's Chloe Fitzgerald and Madison Ream for 41 strikeouts.
Bald Eagle jumped out to an early lead when Fisher walked from the leadoff spot, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a Hugar single.
The Eagles added two more runs in the second as Fisher and Hugar crossed the plate again.
Mifflin County came back in the fifth. Allyssa Souders led off the inning by following Fisher's example: She walked, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Gracelyn Schell then walked and stole second. Christa Hagans put down a bunt and Souders and Schell scored on a miscue by the Bald Eagle pitcher.
Ream then singled to score Hagans to tie the game, a stalemate that lasted until the bottom of the eighth. Fitzgerald drew a walk with one out, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. With two outs and Fitzgerald on third there was lightning, ending play until 10 a.m. Saturday.
When the game continued Mifflin County had Tori Nichols at the plate with a 1-0 count. She squared to bunt, then pulled back to take a strike. On the throw back to the pitcher Fitzgerald broke for home, crossing the plate standing up for the walk-off, extra-inning win.
Mifflin County advances to the District 5 championship, to be played at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Reedsville against the winner of a consolation game between Bald Eagle Area and State College.