15s remain unbeaten
BELLEVILLE — The Mifflin County 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars scored three runs in the top of the seventh to defeat Altoona 7-4 and move to 2-0 overall in their state tournament on Saturday.
Mifflin County, with an off day on Sunday, faces Broomall-Newtown today at 11 a.m. in Belleville.
“Every time you play Altoona it’s going to be a battle. They have some great athletes, some good ballplayers. We didn’t think we would be safe with any lead,” Mifflin County manager Bub Parker said. “Once we jumped up 3-0, I thought we might be able to get it going downhill; it just didn’t happen. Both teams had trouble finding an offensive flow in this game.”
Mifflin County, with one out in the final frame, started things off with a bunt base hit by Blane Dickson, who then stole second. Noah Wright walked, and a double steal moved the runners to second and third. Shane Dippery walked to load the bases and a wild pitch by losing pitcher Brendan Kuhns scored Dickson.
Levi Wise was hit by a pitch to juice the bases, setting the stage for Camden Shawver, who singled to left, plating two runs for the 7-4 lead.
A 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh gave Mifflin County the victory.
Part of the credit for the win goes to Parker and his coaching staff being so aggressive on the bases. Mifflin County recorded six steals in the game.
“We have a lot of kids who can run. We have a lot of kids with speed. We’re going to try and put pressure on every team because we believe we can run on most teams,” Parker said. “They made some pitching changes, so we were able to get good jumps on some of those kids. Whenever you can run, you can put pressure on a defense.”
Michael Anderson had a solid outing on the mound going six innings for the win. He fanned five with two walks, allowing four hits. Shawver pitched a spotless seventh for the save.
“Michael threw a great game for us. He kept them off-balance for a large part of the game. They scored three of their runs on errors by us,” Parker said. “He gave us a great start. He threw the ball well this year for Beaver Springs. I knew he could give us a good quality start and he did. He kept us in the ballgame and set us up for an opportunity to win. I’m glad he got the win. He deserved it.”
Mifflin County started things off with a three spot in the second. A two-run single by Hudson First brought home Shawver and Jacob Krepps. First later scored on an Altoona error.
Altoona (0-1) cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth. Lane Sell drove in Kuhns with a base hit to left. Sell came home on a Mifflin County error for run number two.
Mifflin County made it 4-2 when Shawver, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, doubled off the center field fence and later scored on an Altoona throwing error.
Altoona tied it with two runs in the sixth, thanks to defensive miscues by Mifflin County. Tyler Umbelby led off with a bunt single and Joey Grassi walked. Both came home on Mifflin County errors. Each club had sloppy play on the defensive end with a combined 11 errors.
“We had some trouble defensively, but then we came back and made some plays when we had to,” Parker said. “Michael made an error in the sixth then he came right back and struck out the next batter. We fought through some rough spots and kept our composure.”
Mifflin County finished with seven hits, while Altoona collected four.
“It feels good to be 2-0. This win is real important. We have a tough squad to play in Broomall,” Parker said. “It will be a battle and 2-0 is where you want to be when you play them. They won their first game pretty lopsided, either 10-0 or 11-0. They are always a thorn. We are ready for a tough game on Monday.”