MC 13s drop opener 11-5 to West End

ALTOONA – This has been a bad year for streaks for the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League.

Mifflin County’s longest winning streak against another league came to an end in District 7 play as Perry County beat the local 14-year-old All-Stars, 14-1, snapping a 32-game losing streak against the local league.

On Wednesday in the Pennsylvnaia state tournaments, West End of Williamsport won all three games between the two extending its winning streak against Mifflin County to nine games. The 14 and 15-year-olds fell, 2-1, and the 13-year-olds lost 11-5.

Mifflin County last beat West End in 2011 in a 13-year-old game, 11-8. The old record was held by Phoenixville, who beat Mifflin County in seven straight games from 1976-1979.

On Wednesday, the Mifflin County 13-year-olds dug themselves a hole that the only way out of is to win the next two games.

Mifflin County not only loss, but it gave up 11 runs, which is one of the tie breakers (most runs given up) during pool play. Mifflin County has two games remaining in against Blue Valley at 11 a.m. on Friday and ChiChester at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Mifflin County got off to a rough start. Starting pitcher, Isaac Matthews had an 0-2 count on Braden Rowalla and it looked like he was going into the books as the first out of the game.

Rowalla forced Matthews to throw two balls and then lashed a single. It was all down hill from there.

West End scored four runs on four hits with Dom Ficchotti getting the key hit, two-run triple.

Matthews didn’t make it out of the third inning as he gave up eight runs on eight hits.

Jared Hannon finished the game and did a respectable job of holding West End from getting too far out of reach. He gave up three runs on five hits.

“We gave up too many runs,” Scott Reigle, the Mifflin County manger said, “Jared Hannon did a nice job in the last four plus innings.”

“We left too many men in scoring postition,” Reigle said, “We had our opportunites and left a lot of runners stranded. Now we just have to come back and win the next two games. West End is going to score a lot of runs against a lot of teams.”

Mifflin County got one back in the first as Hannon reached on an error and stole second. Two outs later, Mifflin County had its first run on a Jared King single.

In the third, Mifflin County rallied for three runs cutting the margin to five runs, 9-4.

Hannon led off with a single and Matthews followed with an infield hit. Gavin Swineford loaded the bases for Mifflin County with another single.

King knocked home his second run of the day with a ground out. Max Oburn followed with an RBI single and Tyreen Smalley had the third RBI of the inning with another ground ball out.

In the fifth, Mifflin County scored its fifth run making it 9-5 game. Swineford walked, stole second, went to third on a fly ball to right field and scored when Oburn reached on an error.

After a walk to Drew Westover, West End changed pitchers and Kyle Caringi came in to stop the Mifflin County threat.

Caringi, a left-hander, retired the next six men he faced and didn’t allow a base runner until the seventh. With one out. Brody Kenepp, Oburn and Westover each singled to laod the bases, but Ty Narehood bounced one back to Caringi, who got Kenepp at home plate. Nathan Poche then flied to second to end the game.

Mifflin County finished with eight hits and Oburn was the only multiple hitter with two.

West End’s Ficchotti finished with three hits including a double and a triple.