The second time around
DRUMS – Mifflin County assistant coach Bill Corbin looked over at Valley after their placement game Sunday in the 13-15 year old division Babe Ruth state tournament and voiced some concern over the hosts.
“We don’t know how good of a team they really are,” Corbin said of Valley when asked about the teams’ rematch in Monday’s state semifinals.
After just six innings Monday, we still don’t know how good Valley might be, but everyone now is aware just how good Mifflin County is. The boys in blue romped to a 12-2 victory in the rematch.
The win send Mifflin County into its 41st Babe Ruth final, a state record, against Broomall-Newtown, on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Freedom Park.
“It’s really nice that we finally did start hitting,” Corbin said after his team’s streak of one-run games ended at four. “It’s nice to have a little break from that, where one play isn’t going to make the difference. We had a little leeway today.”
Mifflin County needed just 11 batters Monday to match Sunday’s scoring output against Valley. Fifteen hits were spread throughout the lineup, as every starter had at least one. Eight starters scored at least one run and the team put something on the scoreboard in every inning except the third. Ten runners were left on base as Mifflin County worked the bases loaded at some point in the second, third and fifth innings.
Looking solely at the Valley side of the offensive ledger, little was different from Sunday, as the team again had six hits. The semifinal had a different complexion though.
“Last year, this group toward the end started to hit better,” Corbin said. “And once one gets a hit, sometimes it can be contagious.”
Center fielder Kenny Cavanaugh and left fielder Austin Erb had RBI doubles in the first inning as Mifflin County jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning. The lead grew to 5-0 after a four-hit second inning. Four more runs came in the fourth, as the rout was officially on.
In the offensive showcase, pitcher Cade Attick and shortstop Ty Bodtorf also had doubles. Attick finished with three hits and three runs, while Bodtorf had three RBI- including a game-ending two-run single in the sixth-two hits and a run.
Attick earned the win on the hill, working six innings and giving up six hits. He struck out two and did not issue a walk as 47 of his 65 pitches went for strikes.
“We came back against West End on Friday morning, and from there on, our bats went flat,” Valley manager Jim Hoffman said of his team. “We’ve watched them play the last couple of years as a group. One of the reasons we put in for the state tournament was we thought they could win it on their home field.”
NOTES: Valley committed four errors. That gave them nine in a 10-inning stretch against Mifflin County. … Jarod Paisley of Valley had a single Monday, making him 3-for-3 against Mifflin County in the tourney. … Colin Stauffer had a single and a double for Valley. … Both of Attick’s strikeouts came on pitches in the dirt. Catcher Isaac Maclay threw to first baseman Jordan Marshall to record both outs. … Mifflin County’s defense caught 14 fly balls among the 18 outs that were recorded.