Streak’s a first of year for MC
LEWISTOWN — Make it a lucky No. 2.
It was deja vu for the Mifflin County baseball team, which found itself playing in its second extra-inning game in a row.
For the second time, the Huskies came out victorious. The bat of Ross Underhill was able to bring home the winning run as the Huskies went toe-to-toe with Commonwwealth Division foe Cumberland Valley for eight innings before coming out the 1-0 victors.
In the process, it gives Mifflin County its first winning streak of the 2017 season.
Underhill also was strong from the mound as he went 7 1/3 innings before handing the ball over to eventual winning pitcher Tyreen Smalley, who came in late to extinguish a possible Eagles’ threat in the top of the eighth.
It would be a night that Underhill would spread out seven hits and struck out three before leaving to a strong ovation by the Huskie fans.
There could have been a different result in the contest if it wasn’t for quick thinking and an alert Mifflin County coaching staff when it looked like Cumberland Valley would take a 1-0 advantage in the third — but the Eagles’ Beck Way forgot to touch third base when rounding for home on a single by teammate Taylor Zampelli. The out not only cost them the run but the momentum as well, as they had three hits in the inning before it ended.
Picking up the loss on the night was Cumberland Valley’s ace Mitch Hoon.
Mifflin County manager Bernie Howard was pleased with how his defense played throughout.
“Beating Mitch Hoon twice in one season is amazing. This kid is as good as it gets. He is heading to George Washington on a scholarship. I know it’s an old cliche but this was a total team effort tonight,” Howard said. “Ross Underhill threw his 100 pitches and then we came back with Tyreen Smalley who did a good job. But the defense was huge.
“I didn’t count them up but we had to have at least eight or nine fly balls that were caught in the outfield. I thought the infield played well as well. This was a big win. A big win.”
Going into the eighth inning, Underhill led off the Eagles’ portion of the inning by getting Way to fly out to left field.
He then struggled with Justin Williams, walking him with just one out.
Howard went to his bullpen and called on Smalley to keep the shutout intact.
After warming up he got Zampelli to hit a screaming fly ball to the depths of center for the second out.
Smalley ended the inning by forcing Zane Grimes to keep a grounder in the infield for the third out.
It would be the Huskies’ turn to end the contest in the bottom of the inning.
Lead off hitter Cade Attick belted a single into right field.
He moved up to second on a picture perfect sacrifice bunt by Ty Bodtorf.
Leading hitter for Mifflin County, Isaac Maclay walked, setting the stage for Underhill.
Though it wasn’t a pretty play, Underhill hit an awkward grounder back to the pitcher. In Hoon’s indecision he tried to get Maclay running to second but his throw went into the outfield, allowing Attick to score the winning run and send the Eagles to 6-3 on the year — and complete the sweep for the Huskies.