ALTOONA - Unless a Babe Ruth all-star team ends its season in the World Series, all good runs must come to an end.
The Mifflin County 13-year-old all stars defied logic this past week as they entered the Pennsylvania state tournament as the District 7 runners-up, but Wednesday they ended the season as the state runner-up with an 8-0 loss to West End of Williamsport.
"They (West End) hit the ball well today," Bill Corbin, the Mifflin County manager, said. "Cole (Baker) threw strikes. They fielded better today than in the first game we played them (a 10-7 loss earlier in the tournament)."
When it came to hitting, it wasn't Mifflin County's day. Cody Shimp tossed a complete game five-hitter for West End. He struck out eight and walked four.
Mifflin County had runners on every inning but the second.
In the first, Derick Cross led off with a single, then went to second on a passed ball. Kyle Peachey followed with a walk and both moved up on a passed ball. But, Shimp then got tough as he struck out the next two and got Nick Hostetler to fly to center.
Mifflin County loaded the bases in the third as Cross walked, Peachey singled and Baker walked, but Shimp picked up two strikeouts and a ground out to end the inning.
It wasn't until the seventh that Mifflin County again mounted another threat. Jake Yoder opened with a single. He moved to second on a passed ball, but was out on a fielder's choice by Collin Stuck. The next batter went down on strikes.
Peachey, who finished with two hits, then singled and when Aaron Kanagy walked, the bases were loaded. Baker then popped to second and the game was over with West End getting its seventh state title.
"They never gave up and we as a coaching staff never gave up," Corbin said of his team. "We were very close to being eliminated in districts (by Perry County), but we fought our way back there and we fought our way back (in states). Obviously, we are disappointed today. We just didn't get the clutch hits. I wish we could have played as well as we did on Monday (against Altoona in the semifinals with a 9-0 win)."
West End jumped on Baker for four runs early. In the first inning, the West Enders had four hits, a walk and Mifflin County committed two errors.
In the second, it was 5-0 as Ethen Stryker had an RBI base hit. Stryker added another run for West End in the fourth with another run-producing single. The other run came home on a balk.
West End's final run came across in the fifth thanks to a bases-loaded walk from Hunter Webb.
Mifflin County used three pitchers as Baker started and pitched into the second inning. Kanagy threw the middle innings and Carson King closed out the game by not giving up a hit in the fifth or sixth.
Notes: West End picked up another state title on Wednesday as it beat Broomall-Newtown, 4-0, in the 15-year-old state tournament in Williamsport. ... West End now has eight and still can go for the sweep this weekend in Wrightstown in the 14-year-old state tournament. ... The only league to complete the three age group sweep (13,14,15) was Mifflin County in 2003. ... Mifflin County now has been in 39 state finals and has 20 state runners-up, both state Babe Ruth records. ... Fred Zook, an assistant coach, on the 14-year-old team has now appeared in nine state finals, six as a manager and three as a coach. ... Kanagy had Mifflin County's only other hit, a single, in the fifth.