13s have tough road

ALTOONA – Mifflin County opens the 13-year-old Pennsylvania Babe Ruth state tourmanent on Wednesday and it won’t be an easy start.

Mifflin County plays West End of Williamsport at 5 p.m., one of the top leagues in Pennsylvania.

The 13-year-old tournament has only three games in pool play so the margin of error is very thin.

Scott Reigle, the Mifflin County manager, knows all about what can happen when pool play only consists of three games.

In 2009, Mifflin County went 2-1 in pool play in the 14-year-old bracket including a win over West End, which went on to the World Series and was eliminated on a tie breaker.

Mifflin County’s other games include Blue Valley (District 4) at 11 a.m. on Friday and ChiChester (District 2) on Saturday at 2 p.m.

In the other bracket are Altoona, the host team and also the District 8 winner; Ingomar/Franklin (Pittsburgh area, District 6); Broomall-Newtown (District 1) and Levittown (District 3).

The semi-finals is set for Sunday, July 20 and the finals Monday, July 21.

The winner advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Atlantic Shore, NJ near Atlantic City.

Mifflin County won the District 7 title with two wins over Perry County, 13-1 and 14-4.

Reigle now has eight district titles under his belt and his All-Star record is 67-25 and he has an overall record of 376-178.

The 13-year-olds got two great pitching efforts. Isaac Matthews was the winner in the 13-1 game and Drew Westover picked up the win in 14-4 decison. Nathan Poche and Jared Hannon each worked an inning in relief. Between the four pitchers, they struck out 12, walked two and gave up six hits. The WHIP for the staff is 1.25.

Mifflin County only committed two errors in the field in the 11 innings that they played.

A trio of players have three hits. All three of Matthews’ went for extra-bases, two doubles and a triple.

The other two players with three hits were Avery Haubrick and Max Oburn. Oburn had a big offensive performance in the 14-4 win as he drove in four runs.

“I think we will go as far as our pitching will take us,” Reigle said, “In a three-game pool play bracket, pitching must be the one thing that has to be solid. You can’t give up a lot of runs. A 3-0 record will get you in.”