Storybook ending for MC 15s
WILLIAMSPORT – This wasn’t a Babe Ruth game.
A movie production company must have invaded the Williamsport Babe Ruth field on Friday and written scripts for both teams. Every inning had different plot line.
The movie producers then held the last page until the end of the game to hold everyone in suspense. To say the least it was a surprise ending.
And fortunatley for the Mifflin County 15-year-olds, the ending was a happy one. In fact, no all-star game in the 59- year history of the league – a span of 863 games – ever ended like this one.
And oh, by the way, Mifflin County remained undefeated in pool play with a 5-4 win over Broomall-Newtown.
Today Mifflin County will play Bensalem, the defending state champion (14-year-olds in 2012) at 7 p.m.
The first inning didn’t start out very well for Mifflin County. Broomall scored two runs against the Mifflin County starter, Graham Rhoades. He walked the bases loaded and then Cammeron Mathas rapped a two-run double to give Broomall a 2-0 lead.
For Rhoades it was the end of day as he was removed due to an injruy.
“We had to take Graham out because of an elbow injury,” said Bernie Howard, the Mifflin County manager, “But, it was a typical team victory. The team never flinched as it as battled through adverse conditions.”
With Rhoades gone, Howard went behind the plate to find his relief pitcher, Nate Earnest.
Broomall scored a run against Earnest in the second, but only gave up one more run until he was taken out in the sixth.
Finally Mifflin County got on the socreboard in the bottom of the second inning.
Tyler Powell walked with one out. Andrew Larson moved him up to second on a base hit and then Aaron Sharp singled him home.
“Nate gave us some quality innings,” Howard stated, “Meanwhile we just kept chipping away with contributions throughout the lineup that proved to be successful.”
When Rhoades went out, Ty Hunter was inserted in the lineup and he payed big dividends for Mifflin County.
With two outs in the third, Jared Soles walked and Hunter ripped a double to the left field fence that scored Soles.
Earnest kept the Broomall bats at bay as he limited them to two runs on four hits, two walks. He struck out two.
Mifflin County also came up big on defense as it pulled off two double plays, one in the third and one in the fifth.
Broomall did score a run in the fourth as Cas Welamin triple home a run.
That run set up the Mifflin County fifth as it trailed 4-2.
Zach Hostetler walked to open the inning, but was thrown out at second trying to steal. Alex Hackenberg singled and Soles reached on a fielder’s choice. Both runners moved up as Soles hit a grounder back to the mound.
Hunter then reached on an error and Hackenberg scored. Powell was hit by a pitch to load the bases and then Earnest smashed a single up the middle giving Mifflin County a 5-4 lead.
But, there was more excitment to come as Broomall tried to rally in the sixth. Ed Prefesto singled, Andrew Choi walked and Mike Rofeeki reached on a fielder’s choice.
At that point Howard went to his 6-5 left-hander, Peyton Reesman. Reesman got Welamin to pop up to the shortstop and Ricky Collins lined up the middle, but Reesman jumped high in the air and then threw to first to end the inning.
Mifflin County went 1-2-3 in the sixth. And then it was time for the dramatic seventh.
Broomall’s Jack Shavlin and Scott Hahn worked Reesman for walks. Then Nick Moliman lined a shot at up the first base line at Soles. He caught the ball and then tagged Hahn.
But the line shot was low and it looked like it might not have been caught so Shavlin ran to third. Soles then turned and threw to second and shortstop Aaron Sharp caught the ball for a triple play.
It was the first one in Mifflin County all-star history.
“In the sixth, I called upon the big left-hander, Peyton Reesman, and he took care of the sixth with just four pitches, an infield pop up and a grounder back to him,” Howard said.
“Obviously Jared Soles has been playing well for us defensively,” Howard stated. “Jared’s athleticism helped him catch the ball and then tag the runner. He then kept his composure and threw to Aaron Sharp at second base for the triple play. I’m sure there have been other triple plays (in other games), but this one came at a critical time with two men on, no outs, and a one-run lead in the seventh.”