13s face strong challenge in Altoona

MILROY – If the Mifflin County Babe Ruth 13-year-olds thought the District 7 tournament was challenging, wait until it sees what is in front of them at the Pennsylvania state tournament in Altoona.

Mifflin County opens play on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against Levittown, the District 3 winner.

On Thursday, it meets perennial power West End of Williamsport at 2 p.m. Then on Saturday it tangles with the host Altoona, a team that has beaten Mifflin County twice, 13-3 and 6-2.

Finally on Sunday, Mifflin County closes out pool play with a game against another Philadelphia power, Broomall/Newtown, at 2 p.m.

The final four will get under way on Monday with the state finals set for Tuesday.

To make the final four, Mifflin County must be in the top four teams in the pool play portion of the tournament.

This will mark the first time that a Mifflin County team has been the District 7 representative instead of the district champion. Altoona won the District 7 title when it snapped Mifflin County’s record streak of 34 district titles in a row dating back to 2001.

Mifflin County got to go because Altoona is the host and District 7 must be represented.

The Mifflin County offense, which scored 25 runs on 24 hits, was led by Nick Hostetler and Cole Baker, who each had five hits, while Kyle Peachey had four. Hostetler and Baker each scored seven times.

Baker had an exceptional district tournament as he ripped four extra-base hits as he clubbed two doubles and two triples. Derick Cross also had two doubles. The only other extra-base hit came from Thomas Remy, a double.

Baker and Carson King got the two wins for Mifflin County on the mound, while the only other bright spot for Mifflin County was the relief work of Joe Taptich. In the four district games, Mifflin County was outscored 31-25.

Manager Bill Corbin takes a 591-319 record into the state playoffs and he has a 81-29 record as an all-star manager. He is just the second manager to go over 80 wins as an all-star coach.

Corbin announced that Belleville’s Jake Yoder has been added to the roster.

Notes: The last time Mifflin County went to a tournament without being a state champion or a district champion was in 2009 when the 13-year-olds finished third in the state and went as a Pennsylvania representative to the Mid-Atlantic Regional. … In 1976, the Mifflin County 13-year-olds finished third in the state tournament, which was held in Milroy, and due to poor weather conditions were sent to regionals as the state’s representative. … Mifflin County’s record in Altoona is 6-5. … Mifflin County has had two final four finishes in Altoona both at the 13-year-old level, tying for third, in 2011 and 2012.

Getting there: From I-99 south take the Plank Road exit (Exit 31). At end of exit ramp bear right. Turn left at the first light onto Good’s Lane and proceed past the mall until to you come to a light at California Avenue. Turn left and proceed 150 yards to Seitz field on left at the Eldorado Kiwanis complex.