WRIGHTSTOWN - There were plenty of heroes in Mifflin County's 3-2 nine-inning win Thursday against Drexel Hill in the 14-year-old Pennsylvania Babe Ruth state tournament.
There were the two pitchers, Cade Attick and Ty Bodtorf, who put together a 14-strikeout, two-walk, four-hit game.
There was Damon Jasper, who came up with the winning hit in the top of the ninth inning.
There was Tyler Bedelyon, who threw out a runner from left field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the 2-2 tie.
But, it was Isaac Maclay, the Mifflin County catcher, who put up a statistic that usually doesn't show up in a box score. Maclay, in 90 plus heat, caught all nine innings and didn't have a passed ball.
"Isaac (Maclay) caught a great game today," Mifflin County manager Kevin Reigle said. "He is part of our great defense. Cade (Attick) did a great job for six innings and then Ty (Bodtorf) came in and finished. We let a lot of runners stranded today, but Damon (Jasper) got the big hit."
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Mifflin County plays Tri-Township Saturday
At first it looked like it was going to be a day when a lot of runs were going to be scored. Each team scored in the first inning.
Attick opened the game with a base hit and Bodtorf followed with a single. Maclay walked to load the bases, but after a strikeout Jordan Marshall lofted a ball to center field for a sacrifice fly as Attick came home for a 1-0 lead.
Drexel Hill came right back in the bottom of the first as Dan Sullivan led off with a single. Alex Loll followed with a base hit and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Then with one out, Tim Dougherty singled home Sullivan.
But, from that point on, Attick was on a roll. The Mifflin County pitcher retired the next 14 men he faced from the first to the bottom of the sixth.
Mifflin County had plenty of chances to take the lead. In the second, it loaded the bases with two outs, but couldn't score. In the third, Marshall walked with one out and moved to third on two passed balls, but was stranded. In the fourth and fifth innings, Mifflin County hit into two double plays. One was on a bunt in the fourth and in the fifth Marshall hit a ball to center field and Bodtorf tried to score, but was out at the plate.
Finally in the top of the sixth, Mifflin County retook the lead, 2-1. Bedelyon singled and stole second to open the inning.
After a strikeout, Ross Underhill grounded to third and Bedelyon moved up to third base. Trent Hidlay then reached on an error and Bedelyon scored.
But, the one-run lead only lasted for two batters. Sullivan opened the inning by reaching first on an error. He stole second, putting him in scoring position. Then Loll put down a bunt, but when it was misplayed, Sullivan scored. Attick got two more outs, before giving up a walk.
At that point, Reigle went to Bodtorf. Attick finished the day with nine strikeouts, one walk and gave up three hits, all in the first inning.
Bodtorf then got Pat Rismel to ground out to end the inning.
Mifflin County put two runners on in the seventh thanks to a hit batter and a Drexel Hill error, but couldn't score.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, Drexel Hill had the Mifflin County fans holding their breath. With two outs, Luke Nolan reached on an error. Sullivan drew a walk and then Loll singled to right field, but Bedelyon fired a strike to Maclay at home plate and Nolan was cut down with the winning run.
In the eighth, Mifflin County went down 1-2-3, and after a lead off single by Evan Auburn to open the eighth for Drexel Hill, Bodtorf set down the side in order.
Hidlay opened the ninth with a fly ball to right field. But, Attick picked up his third hit of the day. Bodtorf reached on an error and Maclay walked to load the bases. Jasper then hit a clean single between third and short and Attick came home with what turned out to be the winning run. Marshall finished the inning by hitting into the double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, Bodtorf struck out the first man he faced, but Jim Dougherty lifted a fly ball to left field that looked like it might drop in for a base hit, but Underhill raced under it for the out. Nolan then hit a grounder to Attick at shortstop and the game was over.
Bodtorf struck out five, walked one and gave up two hits.
Mifflin County has the day off today and will resume pool play on Saturday at noon against the host team Tri-Township. In the other game on Wednesday, Valley (Hazleton, District 4) edged Northeast Philadelphia (District 3), 5-4.
Notes: This was the second nine-inning game that Mifflin County has played this year as it beat Altoona, 2-0, in a District 7 contest. ... Mifflin County now has a 95-67 record in one-run games. ... Mifflin County is now 14-18 against Drexel Hill. ... Mifflin County has won three in a row against Drexel Hill dating back to 2007. ... Mifflin County's last defeat to Drexel Hill was 3-2 in a 14-year-old game in the state's final four in Hazleton. ... Mifflin County had three errors and left 11 men stranded.