MC runs out of steam against Colts
LEWISTOWN – After erasing a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the fifth, Mifflin County couldn’t sustain the momentum to complete a seventh inning comeback, falling 12-10 in a rather unusual game at the hands of Cedar Cliff Wednesday.
After Mifflin County tied the game up and recorded the first two outs of the sixth inning, the Colts struck against Huskies’ reliever Doug Harshbarger for three runs.
Cedar Cliff added four more in the top of the seventh to make it 12-7 going into the bottom half of the inning.
Mifflin County scored three runs and had tying run on first base with one out and its two hottest hitters due up.
John Michael Maclay, who had just hit a two-out, two-run homer the previous inning to make it 8-7, hit a fly ball to center for the second out and Isaiah Kearns flied out to right to end the game.
Eight of the games’ first 11 runs scored without the benefit of a hit.
“Especially in this league, games are played a little smoother, a little tighter and definitely a lot quicker,” Mifflin County coach Travis Zook said. “(There were) a lot of walks today on our part, on their part. They had (five) errors. That’s an atypical game in this league. A lot of runs on few hits and some misplayed balls in there.”
Huskies’ starter Peyton Reesman struck out eight Cedar Cliff batters but walked seven and uncorked four wild pitches as he didn’t factor in the decision.
The Colts struck first in the top of the second when Reesman issued back-to-back walks with one out in the inning. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Colts designated hitter Joe Kidd launched a sacrifice fly to right field to score the first run.
Reesman struck out the next batter, his fourth on the day, evading any further damage and kept the game at 1-0.
The Huskies had a chance to get the run right back when Drew Hannon reached on an error to start the Huskies’ half of the inning and later advanced on a passed ball.
Colts starter Noah Malone got the next three hitters in succession, including a strikeout of Kyle Bodtorf looking to end the inning.
Reesman enjoyed an easy 1-2-3 third where he got the last two Cedar Cliff batter swinging to end the inning.
Mifflin County got its first run of the day when Cedar Cliff’s center fielder failed to catch Maclay’s fly ball and then picked it up and caught Maclay between first and second.
But the Colts infield threw the ball to first away and Maclay was standing on second, compliments of two Cedar Cliff errors.
Maclay stole third and Isaiah Kearns blasted a single to center to score Maclay, evening the game at 1-1.
Cedar Cliff put its second run on the board in the top of the fourth once again without the benefit of a hit.
Colts catcher Brandon Smith reached on a lead-off walk and advanced on a wild pitcher and a ground out to Reesman.
Smith broke Grant Brennaman’s contact and Reesman fielded and had only the play to first to record the out and Smith crossed the plate, putting Cedar Cliff back up 2-1.
Reesman walked two to start the top of the fifth before rallying to strike the next two Colts out. With two outs, Reesman walked two more hitters to force in a run and end his day.
Harshbarger came on in relief and allowed a pop single to right to score two more runs and make it 5-1 Cedar Cliff before a pop-up ended the inning.
Malone ran into similar control issues to start the Huskies’ half of the fifth.
He walked nine-hole hitter Jacob Larson to start the inning then gave up back-to-back infield hits.
A wild pitch scored the second Huskies run of the day and a bases-loaded walk to clean-up hitter Lucas McKay plated another run.
Hayden Snook’s fielder’s choice and a wild pitch each scored another run and Mifflin County tied the game at 5-5.
The go-ahead run was stranded on third base after a groundout and strikeout.
Cedar Cliff came with some two-out magic when the ninth hitter, John McGee, launched a triple to right-center and scored on the first of two Husky errors in the inning.
“We talk about extra outs every game,” Zook said. “With two outs, those extra outs are even bigger, especially when they are able to capitalize on them. When you’re making a mistake and giving them four outs or two mistakes and giving them five outs. Whenever were giving them those extra outs, it’s just giving them more chance to score runs.
“They didn’t help us, but I don’t think they cost us the game,” he said. “We need to just make sure we make those play next time we’re in that situation.”
Mifflin County came back and chipped away again when Larson got on with a one-out single.
Maclay followed with a two-run homer to left to make it 8-7 Cedar Cliff.
Two free base runners via a walk and a hit batsman came back to bit Mifflin County in the top half of the final inning when Braydon Lackey hit a two-out opposite field three-run home run to make it 12-7.
Gage Reesman singled and Hunter Walker scored on the ensuing overthrow to draw the Huskies back to within two at 12-10.
“Our postgame talked, that’s what we focused on (the resiliency),” Zook said. “Let’s look at the silver lining. (I) definitely love the resiliency and guys picking each other up. Like I told the guys, next time we are in this situation, I think we come out on the right side.”
The Colts reliever, Zach Smith, who earned the win, got Maclay and Kearns to end the game.
The Huskies (4-2, 4-2 Commonwealth Division) travel to Red Land today.