MILROY – If you’re hoping to see the Mifflin County Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Stars in action, you’ll have to wait another 11 days – and travel 125 miles east to Drums.
Perry County, which was scheduled to play Mifflin County on Sunday, could not field a team for the District 7 tournament and thus forfeited two games. There are no other Babe Ruth leagues in the district since the departure of Gettysburg.
Mifflin County, the defending state champions from 2013 (as 14-year-olds) will now enter the state tournament in Drums on July 16.
The team is managed by Yeagertown’s Fred Zook; he is being assisted by Belleville’s Bill Corbin and Don Attick Jr. of Reedsville.
“We are disappointed that Perry County couldn’t field a team,” Zook said. “Last year they were a very competitive team and made it to the finals as they upset Altoona (in the semi-finals). It would have been nice to play in front of our home fans.”
Altoona returned to District 8 after competing in the same district as Mifflin County last year.
“We are going to continue to play some scrimmages against older players to get us ready for the state tournament,” Zook added. “We have had great chemistary and we are looking forward to the state tournament. My two young coaches are doing a wonderful job.”
Nine of the 15 players named to the team became three-time all-stars, which brings the all-time total of three-timers in the Mifflin County league to 232.
Named as three-time all-stars from Yeagertown were Ty Bodtorf and Jordan Marshall, along with Reedsville’s Jake (15)?Spickler and Cade Attick, Belltown’s Ross Underhill and Austin Erb, Lewistown’s Trent Hidlay and Damon Jasper , and Belleville’s Isaac Maclay.
Four other players return from the state championship team for their second year as all-stars: Lewistown’s Kenny Cavanaugh, Belleville’s Tyler Bedelyon, Reedsville’s Logan Peachey and Strodes Mills’ Nicholas Poche.
Named to the team for the first time were Belleville’s Eddie Hamman and Belltown’s Levi Sherwood.
Zook and his coaches have the best players in the league at their disposal. Underhill was named the league’s Most Valuable Player, while Peachey and Maclay were named co-pitchers of the year. Macaly also won the batting title.
This is not the first time that Mifflin County has received a forfeit. It has happened four other times.
The last time it occured in a district tournament was in 2000 at the 14-year-old level when East Broad Top failed to show up.
Forfeits occurred twice in state tournaments. The first time in 2002 in the 13-year-old bracket with Wayne County North. Then in the 2007 13-year-old tournament, Phoenixville left before the game was played.
The first time was in 1957 when Philipsburg used an ineligible player, which turned out to be Mifflin County’s first win in all-star competiton.
None of these forfeits decided a tournament championship.
Mifflin County has never forfeited an all-star game in 881 contests.