CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. - It was close.
No, not the Mifflin County game with Northern New Jersey, but the game between Metro New York and Eastern New York.
That game determined whether Mifflin County would get into the single-elimination segment of the Mid-Atlantic Regionals.
For the Mifflin County Babe Ruth 14-year Babe Ruth all stars to get in, Metro had to lose and give up five runs, and it came down to the wire. Metro trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. But, Eastern New York rallied for five runs and won going away, 7-2.
So on Saturday morning, Mifflin County took care of business with a 9-0 win over Northern New Jersey.
However, Saturday's highs turned into lows Sunday, as a 4-2 loss to Eastern New York brought the locals' season to an end.
Mifflin County finished in a tie for fifth place and just missed the final four in the Mid-Atlantics by one game. The team had a 9-5 overall record including the league's 20th state title to go along with a District 7 championship.
On Sunday, Mifflin County had to use two pitchers who had not worked on the tournament trail this summer, Isaac Maclay and Logan Peachey. The Mifflin County coaching staff had just used five pitchers in their rotation throughout the long run. In fact, Maclay had been behind the plate for all 91 innings until he took the mound on Sunday.
"I'm proud of all 15 players," said Kevin Reigle, the Mifflin County manager. "This was an incredible run. The three coaches (Don Attick and Craig Bitner) can't be more proud of this team. Finishing in the top six (tie for fifth) is a big accomplishment."
"Today (Sunday) was a case in point that our pitchers were tired," Reigle explained. "Give credit to Isaac (Maclay) and Logan (Peachey) for stepping in. Neither had pitched in the tournament. It was a close game. A play here or there and we could still be playing. Our defense again was tremendous."
Mifflin County scored first as it pushed across a run in the second inning. Maclay led off with a single and one out later Damon Jasper singled, moving Maclay to third. Jake Spickler hit a ground ball to third and picked up the RBI as Maclay scored. Jonah Kile walked and then Trent Hidlay reached on an error, but when Jasper tried to score he was thrown out at home.
Two great defensive plays in the early innings kept Kingston (Eastern New York) off the scoreboard.
In the second, Kingston loaded the bases and when Ryan Hoffman drove a ball to deep left center Kile raced over and made a diving catch to save at least two runs and maybe three.
Then in the third, Brandon Albertson smashed a ball to center field and Kenny Cavanaugh made a running catch that ESPN would be showing on its highlight package.
Finally, in the fourth Kingston scored a run tying the game at 1-1.
It didn't stay that way for long as Mifflin County went up 2-1 in the fifth. With one out, Cade Attick reached on an error and then with some daring base running and another Kingston error, Attick scored.
Mifflin County didn't commit any errors during the game and another key factor was Ty Bodtorf, who moved from the infield to behind the plate. Bodtorf threw two runners out in the third and fifth innings.
In the sixth, Mifflin County had a mild threat as Spickler and Peachey had back-to-back singles with one out, but a double play took care of any runs being produced.
Finally, in the seventh, Kingston got to Maclay. Dan Boyle led off with a walk. It was the free passes that kept Kingston in the game as Maclay had 10 walks along with eight hits.
After one out, Kevin Bryant walked and Albertson singled home the tying run.
Reigle then went to Peachey. He gave up two more singles before getting the final two outs of the inning. Josh Bunce had the big hit, a two-run single.
Mifflin County tried to come back in the seventh. The first two men went down, but Bodtorf singled to keep the inning alive, but when Maclay grounded to short, the game was over.
Mifflin County had nine hits with Bodtorf, Maclay, Spickler and Jasper each getting two.
But despite the disappointment of Sunday's loss, Saturday's 9-0 win marked first regional shut out for Mifflin County since Cody Heane whitewashed Western New York August 1, 2008.
This time the stars on the mound were Bodtorf and Jordan Marshall. Bodtorf went the first three innings. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two. Marshall picked up the win with his four innings. He allowed three hits and didn't walk a batter.
Meanwhile, the Mifflin County offense was flowing like water in the middle of a rain storm.
Mifflin County pounded out 11 hits and scored multiple runs in two innings. Hidlay reached on an error to open the third. He advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on a single by Bodtorf.
In the fourth inning, Mifflin County opened up the game with five runs. Cade Attick had a two-run double, while Bodtorf smashed a double that scored another run. Jonah Kile also had an RBI single and Hilday scored a run on a sacrifice fly.
Mifflin County was back at it in the sixth. Gage Boreman singled with one out and Bodtorf and Isaac Maclay followed with base hits. Marshall walked with the bases loaded to force home a run. Jasper brought home a run with a base hit and Kenny Cavanaugh scored a run with a fielder's choice.
"Ty (Bodtorf) and Jordan (Marshall) did a great job," Reigle said. "Our bats came alive and again our defense came to play."
Bodtorf was Mifflin County's only multiple hitter with three hits.
On defense, Mifflin County turned in a double play and did not commit an error throughout the entire game. The big play on defense came from Hidlay at second base as he jumped for a ball headed to right field to stop a scoring threat and end the fourth inning.
Notes: The regional final four was all New York, with Metro, Kingston, Clifton Park and North Colonie advancing. ... Mifflin County's record for all three age groups (13, 14 and 15) for 2013 was 19-13. ... The 13 losses are the most ever for one year. The old mark was 10 in 2009. ... Mifflin County now has a 46-44 record in Mid-Atlantic action. ... Mifflin County had a 4-6 record in all three age groups for games that were decided by one or two runs. ... Jasper had Mifflin County's only extra-base hit, a double in the fourth.