CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – Every step along the Babe Ruth tournament ladder, a team must take advantage of what is given to it.
On Tuesday, the Mifflin County 14-year-old All-Stars didn’t hit in the clutch and the result was a 4-1 loss to North Syracuse (Western New York) in the first game of pool play in the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament.
Mifflin County left 12 men on base and three times left the bases loaded.
“We couldn’t get the timely hit today,” said Kevin Reigle, the Mifflin County manager. “We left way too many men on base. I thought our pitching did a good job. We had to pull Austin (Erb) as his arm was a little tender. To Jordan’s (Marshall) credit, he came in and pitched really well.”
Mifflin County scored its only run in the sixth inning. Logan Peachey reached on an error to open the inning. After a strikeout, Tyler Bedelyon singled. One out later, Cade Attick drew a walk to load the bases and then Kenny Cavanaugh followed with another walk to force in Peachey.
At that point, North Syracuse changed pitchers. Bill Clifford gave way to Warren Hoke. The new North Syracuse pitcher got Ty Bodtorf to fly out to left field to end the threat.
In the first inning, Mifflin County loaded the bases with two outs as Bodtorf singled and Isaac Maclay and Jake Spickler each drew walks, but Clifford got the next batter to strike out.
Again, in the fourth inning, Mifflin County filled the bases, but failed to score. With one out, Damon Jasper ripped a double, which turned out to be Mifflin County’s only extra-base hit of the game. Marshall reached on an error, but the next batter popped to shortstop. Tent Hidlay followed with a single to load the bases.
But, Cifford worked out of the jam again with a ground ball out.
North Syracuse came up with a big double play to shut off another Mifflin County threat in the fifth. Cavanaugh opened the inning by reaching first on a dropped third strike (passed ball). Bodtorf followed by reaching on an error. Maclay then flew out to deep center and when Cavanaugh wondered too far off of second, he was out.
Erb went the first three innings. He struck out two, walked three and gave up three hits and two runs. Marshall closed out the game as he worked three innings. He gave up two hits and walked two.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mifflin County turned a double play that prevented another run. Zach Scannell walked and Josh Ludden followed with a double. Brandon Brown then hit a fly ball to left field and when the Mifflin County left fielder, Jonah Kile, tossed the relay to third baseman Ty Bodtorf, who threw a bullet to Maclay at the plate for the double play.
Maclay had Mifflin County’s fifth and final hit, a single, in the seventh.
Mifflin County has today off and will play Thursday at 11 a.m. against the Eastern New York runner-up, Kingston.
Notes: Clifton Park is the 64th different site where Mifflin County has played. … Clifton Park has been the site of Babe Ruth World Series play and it’s the third such field Mifflin County has played on in a Mid-Atlantic Regional. The other two were Millville, N.J., and Yardville, N.J., each of which also hosted a Babe Ruth World Series. The 1997 Mifflin County 14-15-year-old state champs played in Millville, while the 1999 15-year-old state winners and the 2004 13-year-olds played in Yardville, the home of Babe Ruth baseball. … Mifflin County now has a 14-9 record in opening games in the regionals. The 14-year-old record is now 1-2. … From 2002 to 2004, Mifflin County won six opening games in a row in all three age groups. … Mifflin County’s record against Western New York is now 6-3. Mifflin County’s record in the Mid-Atlantic is now 44-42.