Bronx team falls in stunner to MC
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – The boys from the Bronx never heard of Mifflin County.
They never heard of Monument Square, half-moon pies or the youth fair in Reedsville.
But on Friday night, they were introduced to the Mifflin County Babe Ruth 14-year-old All-Stars.
Mifflin County stunned the Metro New York entry Next Millennium, 4-3, in the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament. Next Millennium was unbeaten in its first two games, while Mifflin County was 0-2 and needed a win to stay alive.
Mifflin County plays today at 11 a.m. against South Brunswick, which is the counterintuitively named Northern New Jersey entrant that is 0-3 in the pool.
To a spot in the quarterfinals, the local all stars must win – and Next Millennium not only must lose to North Colonie (3-0), but give up six runs more than Mifflin County surrenders in its final pool game. The locals can not afford to give up more than two runs.
But this just wasn’t any team from New York City. Last year, as 13-year-olds, Next Millennium was the regional runner-up; as 12-year-olds they went to the Cal Ripken World Series.
Mifflin County led 4-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, but the Bronx stars made a game of it.
Jackson Hill led off the seventh with a single and Juan Rivera followed with another base hit. Skyler Pichardo reached on a fielder’s choice. Hill, who was on second, moved to third on the play as Rivera was erased. Then Next Millennium pulled off a double steal as Hill scored and Pichardo was safe at second. Anderson Lora then singled, scoring Pichardo, and it was a 4-3 game.
At that point, Mifflin County manager Kevin Reigle removed Cade Attick, the starting pitcher, for Damon Jasper.
Jasper walked Kai Nelson, but Isaac Maclay, the Mifflin County catcher, tossed him out at second base for the second out of the inning. Jonathan Landaverde then lofted a ball to right field that looked like the end of the game and the final out of the upset.
Instead of an easy play, Tyler Bedelyon, the Mifflin County left fielder, and Gage Boreman, the center fielder, collided – but Bedelyon held on to the ball for the final out.
Jasper got the save, but it was Attick who was the hero on the mound.
Attick held the hard hitting team to eight hits, walked three and struck out three.
“Cade (Attick) pitched a heck of a game tonight,” Reigle said. “I just can’t say enough about his performance. Damon came right in and didn’t let us down. Both pitchers should get high praise.
“Our defense came to play tonight and our bats came alive. We played like state champs tonight.”
Mifflin County jumped on Shawn Quezada, the starting pitcher, for two runs in the first inning.
Attick opened the game with a single and Kenny Cavanaugh moved him to second with a bunt. One out later, Maclay singled and then Jordan Marshall delivered his biggest hit of the 2013 tournament trail, a two-run double.
Mifflin County added a single run in the second as Reigle went to the small ball game. Jonah Kile walked with one out and Trent Hidlay followed with a single. Attick then picked up his second hit of the game with a single loading the bases. Cavanaugh then laid down a perfect bunt up the first base line and Kile scampered home with the third run.
In the fifth, Mifflin County picked up what turned out to be the winning run. Maclay opened with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Marshall. Jake Spickler popped to first for the second out, but when Logan Peachey reached on an error, Maclay scored.
Mifflin County came up with a big defensive play in the third inning. Hill led off with a double down the first base line. Rivera followed with a single and Hill landed on third on the base thanks to the hit. Rivera then stole second putting runners at third and second with no outs.
Pichardo lofted a fly ball to deep left field and after Kile made the catch, Hill tagged up and started home. But as he arrived at the plate so did the ball – Kile threw a bullet that one-hopped into Maclay’s mitt and he applied the tag to Hill for the double play. Attick then got Lora to flay out to Kile for the third out of the inning.
The Bronx team broke the shutout in the sixth when Lora reached on an error and Nelson doubled him home setting up the dramatic seventh inning.
Notes: With a Mifflin County win and Next Millennium loss, there would be a three-way tie for the pool’s third spot in the single-elimination bracket. If that occurs, the first tiebreaker is least number of runs allowed. North Syracuse, which has a head-to-head advantage over Mifflin County, has completed pool play and allowed 16 runs. Mifflin County has given up 13 going into its final game; Next Millennium has surrendered eight. … Mifflin County is now 3-4 in one-run games in 2013. The 13-year-olds are 0-1, the 14-year-olds 2-1 and 15-year-olds 1-2. … Mifflin County’s record against Metro New York is now 6-6. … Since the 1960s, Mifflin County is the only team to win a state championship in each decade in Pennsylvania. … Mifflin County committed two errors in Friday’s game, while Next Millennium had three. … Mifflin County is now 18-12 overall in all-star play this year (13-year-olds, 4-6; 14-year-olds, 8-4; 15-year-olds, 6-2). … Spickler made a great defensive stop at first base on a play in the fourth inning.