WRIGHTSTOWN - The symmetry of baseball was visible in Bucks County Saturday.
In 1997, Bob Reigle coached his last Babe Ruth game in Weatherly in the 13-year-old state finals against Valley of Hazleton. Valley beat Mifflin County for the state title, 6-3. Bob Reigle died in May 1998.
On Saturday, his grandson, Kevin Reigle, manager of the current Mifflin County 14-year-old All-Star team, was in his first state finals. The opponent? Valley.
And this time Mifflin County came away with the state title in a 12-2 victory that ended after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
Mifflin County advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regional on Tuesday where it will open play against Western New York at 11 a.m. in Clifton Park, N.Y.
Valley made history earlier on Saturday by beating West End of Williamsport, 6-5, stopping West End's attempt to sweep the state. West End already had won the 13- and the 15-year-old state titles.
The only league in Pennsylvania to complete the sweep since 1999 when the 14-year-old program was started by Babe Ruth baseball was Mifflin County in 2003.
Mifflin County got to the state final by completing a game that was suspened on Monday after four innings. The game with Tri-Township was 5-5 when conditions forced the game to stop, and the host eventually chose to push the bracket to the weekend.
Mifflin County pulled out the win, 8-7, in that game.
The state championship was the league's 20th and it also marked the league's 40th state Babe Ruth finals appearance. Both marks are state records. The last Mifflin County state title came in 2009 at the 15-year-old level.
Not only that, it was 10 years ago on the same field where Mifflin County won the 13-year-old state title, the first of its state sweep.
The final game was only close for an inning. Mifflin County jumped on top 2-0 after the first.
Cade Attick led off with a single and Kenny Cavanaugh moved him to second with a bunt. Ty Bodtorf then doubled Attick home and it was 1-0. Isaac Maclay and Jordan Marshall walked and then Damon Jasper was hit by a pitch. Jake Spickler then hit into a fielder's choice and Bodtorf scored.
Trent Hidlay opened the second with an at bat that led to the beginning of the end of Valley.
Hidlay was down 0-2 to start but he fouled four pitches off between three balls and finally came up with a base hit.
And then things started to go down hill for Valley. Attick reached on an error and Bodtorf and Maclay followed with RBI singles. Before the inning was over, Jake Spickler had an RBI base hit and Hidlay scored a run on a ground out to third base. Austin Erb forced in a run on a bases loaded walk and Bodtorf scored on a passed ball.
Meanwhile, Bodtorf was taking care of business on the mound. Valley got nine hits, but when he needed to get an out, he always came up with the right pitch. Boreman and Cavanaugh made outstanding catches in center field to back Bodtorf as Cavanaugh made his to get the first out in the second and Boreman came up with his catch with one out in the third.
Valley scored single runs in the third and fifth innings. Bodtorf finished with five strike outs and two walks.
Boreman opened the third with a single and Bodtorf followed with a double. One out later, Marshall grounded to third. scoring Boreman, and Bodtorf came home on another passed ball.
Mifflin County wrapped up its scoring in the fourth with two runs. Hidlay was hit by a pitch to open the inning and it looked like he was going to be stranded at first as the next two batters made outs. But, Bodtorf ripped his fourth hit of the game and his third double and Maclay iced the contest with a two-run double.
In the fifth, the lead off hitter for Valley doubled, but Bodtorf got the two batters to fly out to left and center field. Eddie Herbaer's fly ball brought in the second run, making it 12-2.
But, then Bodtorf got the next man to pop up to Logan Peachey at first base and the Mifflin County's 20th state title was on the way home to Central Pennsylvania.
"I'm proud of them (the players)," Reigle said. "Now we are off to New York, where we will play well. (Valley) hit the ball, but Ty did a great job of keeping them down. We really hit the ball tonight. Every player contributed to the state championship."
Mifflin County came up with 11 hits in the championship game with Bodtorf getting four, while Maclay and Spickler each had two.
Mifflin County 8, Tri-Township 7
WRIGHTSTOWN - Mifflin County scored three runs in the fifth inning and then made it hold up in an 8-7 win over the host team, Tri-Township, in the 14-year-old Babe Ruth state semifinals.
Earlier in the tournament, Tri-Township beat Mifflin County, 7-3.
The score was tied 5-5 after four innings when play was resumed on Saturday afternoon. The first half of the game was played on Monday before being suspened by rain.
Isaac Maclay opened the fifth by hitting a ball to center field, which looked like it was an out, but when the Tri-Township outfielder dropped the ball, Maclay was on first.
Jonah Kile followed by reaching base on another Tri-Township error and Logan Peachey got on base with a walk. Maclay scored on a passed ball.
Then Kevin Reigle and his coaching staff played small ball as Kenny Cavanaugh laid down a perfect squeeze bunt scoring Kile. Peachey scored as Trent Hidlay reached on an error.
That was it for Mifflin County on the scoreboard. Mifflin County picked up two hits over the last two innings (a single by Trent Hidlay and a double from Tyler Bedelyon).
Cade Attick, who was the starting pitcher on Monday, had to hold off the Tri-Township bats.
He gave up a run in the fifth, had a shutout inning in the sixth and then gave up another run in the seventh.
Billy Storm led off with a single for Tri-Township in the seventh and moved to second on a stolen base. Tom Mitchell flew to right and Kody Cracknell struck out. Carl Nommes cut the score to a single run as he doubled home Storm, but when Attick got Erik Iverson on strikes, the game was over.
Each team scored five runs in the second inning on Monday.
With one out, Jake Spickler reached on an error. Gage Boreman walked and Hilday singled home Spickler. Attick doubled home Boreman and one out later Bodtorf smashed a three-run homer making it 5-0.
But, Mifflin County couldn't stand prosperity.
Tri-Township came right back with five to tie the game. Mifflin County gave up three hits, walked two and hit a batter. And on defense it committed two errors in one inning for only the second time on the tournament trail.
Attick got the complete game win as he struck out eight, walked three and gave up seven hits.
"It was a great game," Reigle said. "We played a great first half and we played great today. The three runs were the difference. I think Cade pitched a great game. It isn't easy to pitch in a game in two different days. We came to play today."