Mifflin County suffers 1-0 loss to Philipsburg

LEWISTOWN – Heath Hidlay threw seven strong innings against Philipsburg Sunday in the championship bracket final of the Central Penn League tournament.

Hidlay was also the last batter for Mifflin County in the American Legion baseball contest, the last man who had a chance to keep his team in the top bracket as the tournament winds down.

But even with bases loaded, the two-outs result was a fielder’s choice that ended the game, 1-0, in favor of the visiting Phils. Mifflin County will host Beech Creek at 6 p.m. tonight in a consolation game, and would still be at least two wins away from a title.

There just wasn’t enough offense for the home team in its third outing in as many days. Mifflin County never came back from the lone run, scored in the second as the result of an error after Chad Speigle singled.

“We gave up one unearned run and the last inning we had every opportunity,” Mifflin County manager Larry Wolfe said. “I don’t feel bad about that.”

Hidlay and a solid supporting defense certainly didn’t give the Phils any chances to add to the lead – the visitors got to second only once more in the game, in the fifth, with two outs.

Among the notable defensive plays, Strohecker stole a pair of hits at second and the team turned a double play to end another scoring threat in the second.

“We got a nice catch in left field for Michaels. We’ll call it a catch anyway,” Wolfe quipped over the contested play late in the game.

Mifflin County had chances, but couldn’t finish. The locals had runners on second and third in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a Jacob Larson walk and a Strohecker single – a hit that made Strohecker the only player in the game with more than one. But with two down, a fly to right ended the threat.

In the final turn, Drew Hannon and Doug Harshbarger both wore pitches; Larson doubled in between for the game’s only extra-base effort. But two fielder’s choice balls and a strikeout looking made Philipsburg the winner.

“We were a little anxious I think in the last inning,” Wolfe said. “We have to learn how to handle situations like this and put the ball in play when we have an opportunity.”

On Saturday, Mifflin County sent State College to the consolation bracket with a 6-5 victory. Mifflin County recorded seven hits in the game; Cy Treaster had two of them. Treaster and Harshbarger had two RBIs apiece; Lucas McKay and Drew Hannon each plated one run. Blayz Shartzer picked up the win on the mound.