Mifflin County goes 2-0 in Legion event

SOMERSET – Mifflin County has accumulated 10 hits and scored six runs in each of its first two games in the American Legion baseball Region 7 tournament.

Today, the local squad aims for a win in the final game between unbeatens in the double-elimination event.

Mifflin County squeezed by a pesky Latrobe (Westmoreland), 6-5, on Saturday, before putting away Blairsville (Indiana) Sunday, 6-2. The Central Penn League’s regular-season champ takes on Unity, the other Westmoreland entry, today at 5 p.m. at Somerset High School.

Unity defeated the host 7-0 on Sunday.

Against Blairsville, Mifflin County (21-8) put the first three runs on the board in the top of the second. Blairsville scored one coming out of the third, and Larry Wolfe, the Mifflin County manager, admitted that could be a worrisome situation.

“Then we came right back and scored two more,” he said. “I thought that was pretty important. In terms of the kids’ menatality that’s a big deal, to answer back right away.”

It was a boost on the mound, where Heath Hidlay picked up a complete-game victory, striking out five and walking only two.

“After that he pretty much cruised,” Wolfe said. “He probably threw as good a game as he’s thrown all year.”

On Saturday, Lucas McKay went 8 1/3 in the win, and Hayden Snook picked up a save when he got a strikeout and a fly out with the bases loaded.

There was some rain Saturday, which while not impacting the artificial surface infield, opened the door for more aggressive play, Wolfe said.

“We ran against (Latrobe) early figuring the ball would be wet and they’d have trouble making accurate throws,” he said.

And with a defensive change – Isaac Strohecker moved from third to second – the results have been exceptional.

“We have turned a ton of double plays,” Wolfe said – five against Latrobe, and two more Sunday. “And one of them was with the bases loaded with one out. My kids definitely like playing on a turf infield.”

Centre County League

Howard 3, Lewistown 1

HOWARD – Lewistown’s season came to an end Sunday, as the Predators fell 3-1 to the Howard Hawks, dropping their Centre County League first-round playoff series, 3-1.

In the final game, Ryan Keefer scored Jay Hartman for the lone RBI. Predator pitcher Cody Heane threw a gem for Lewistown, going a complete game and holding a powerful offense to only three runs, but he did not get the run support needed for the victory.

Howard advances to the next round to face powerhouse Philipsburg.

The Predators took it all the way down to the wire Thursday, holding on in a game that extended into Friday.

When the suspended game resumed, it went to the 11th inning before the Predators pulled out their first win over Howard in the best-of-five series, 13-12.

Down 2-0 in the series and trailing in Game 3 by six runs, Lewistown powered through the bottom of the seventh Thursday for six runs, highlighted by a two-run homer with two outs to take the game into extra innings.

The extra innings and a storm delay made it so the game could not be completed Thursday. The game picked up in the top of the ninth and went three more innings Friday.

The county’s other entry in the adult league, the Milroy Coyotes, did not complete the schedule when roster shortages began to plague the team.