MILROY – If pitching and defense is the formula to winning then the Mifflin County Babe Ruth 14-year-olds looked like chemists getting their Ph.Ds on Thursday night.
Mifflin County, behind the pitching of Ty Bodtorf and Cade Attick, beat Altoona 2-0 in nine innings at Armagh Memorial Field.
The two combined for a one-hitter – with Bodtorf getting credit for a seven-inning no-hitter – as he had to be lifted due to Babe Ruth tournament rules, which limit a pitcher to seven innings across any two consecutive games.
It was the league’s 20th no-hitter and its 102nd shutout. The last no-hitter came from Brady Specht in a home game against Pottsville on July 26, 2009, in the state tournament.
Mifflin County will now play on Saturday against the winner of a game between Perry County and Altoona that will be played today at 5 p.m.
Altoona’s lone hit came from Nathan Hagg with two out in the bottom of the eighth.
Bodtorf finished his seven innings with nine strikeouts and three walks. Attick’s two innings included two strikeouts, one walk and the lone single by Hagg. Attick got the win.
“Ty (Bodtorf) threw a heck of a game,” Kevin Reigle, the Mifflin County manager, said, “You can’t ask for anymore than his seven innings of no-hit baseball. He deserved the win, but Cade (Attick) came right in and threw two shutout innings. We played good defense. I never really felt comfortable, but when we had the two runs, I thought we had a good chance.”
The only error Mifflin County committed came on the first batter that Bodtorf faced in the first inning as Alex Hoenstine reached on a ground ball miscue.
But, Bodtorf responded with two strikeouts and a fly ball to left field.
Give credit to the Altoona starter, Luke Eberhart, as he matched Bodtorf zero for zero on the new nine-inning scoreboard at Armagh. Eberhart struck out three, walked three and gave up two hits.
The two Altoona relief pitchers, Jarret Cavalet and Evan Chadbourn, didn’t fare as well.
Cavalet threw a scoreless eighth, although Mifflin County loaded the bases but failed to score. Bodtorf and Isaac Maclay opened the eighth with back-to-back singles. Both runners moved to second and third respectively on a wild pitch.
Damon Jasper, however, grounded out before Jordan Marshall walked to load the bases. But, Jake Spickler and Kenny Cavanaugh popped up to first to end the inning.
Then in the ninth, Mifflin County finally put a number on the scoreboard other than a zero.
Austin Erb was sent in as a pinch hitter and he responded with a walk. Trent Hidlay lined to center field for the first out and Altoona then made a pitching change.
Chadbourn came on as Altoona’s third pitcher and Attick and Bodtorf greeted him with base hits.
Erb moved up on a stolen base and went to third on Attick’s base hit. He later scored on a wild pitch. Bodtorf’s single up the middle scored Attick.
Bodtorf made it as far as third base, but Maclay and Marshall popped up between a Jasper walk.
Attick struck out the first man he faced in the ninth and then got a ground back to him for out No. 2. Eberhart walked, but Tanner Swales flew out to center to end the game.
Mifflin County finished with six hits, all from the first four hitters. Bodtorf and and Maclay each had two.
Notes: The longest 0-0 game at Armagh Memorial Field came in 1976 in a 13-year-old state tournament game between Phoenixville and Mifflin County. Both teams went scoreless for 15 innings before Phoenixville won 2-0 in the 16th. … Attick made a great grab of a line shot by Hagg in the bottom of the third inning. … Mifflin County hasn’t given up a run in 15 innings as it beat Perry County 10-0. … In a 15-year-old game on Thursday, Gettysburg eliminated Perry County, 4-2. … Mifflin County turned a double play in the fourth. … Eberhart retired 12 in a row from the first to fifth. … Mifflin County left nine men on base before the ninth. … Altoona pulled off a double play in the first.