13s get set to play in state tournament

MCCANDLESS — The Mifflin County Babe Ruth 13-year-olds will get their first taste of state competiton early on Wednesday. It might be more like a breakfast call with over easy baseballs and a few sliders on the side.

Mifflin County takes on Westmoreland at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in the first game of the Pennsylvania Babe Ruth 13-year-old state tournament.

Mifflin County had a 2-2 record in District 8 play as it finished second to West End of Williamsport.

On Thursday at noon, Mifflin County will play Lock Haven, a team it has already beaten, 9-6, in district play. Mifflin County will finish its pool play on Friday at 9 a.m. against Broomall-Newtown, the top team out of the Philadelphia area.

Single elimination play starts on Saturday and the semifinals will be on Sunday; the state final takes place on Monday.

Teams in the other bracket are Drexel Hill and 21st Ward (Roxbrough) from the Philadelphia area; West End (Williamsport); and the host team, Ingomar.

In district play, Mifflin County beat Altoona and Lock Haven but fell twice to West End, 16-4 and 13-3.

Josh Bryson had a game to remember against Altoona. He pitched into the seventh inning as he struck out seven and only gave up three hits. Zach Snook finished and completed the shutout.

Bryson also had a big day with the bat going 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Matthew Weimer also had a clutch hit in that game with a three-run double.

In the first loss to West End, Mifflin County didn’t field very well as it committed six errors and only had four hits.

Against Lock Haven, Easton Erb got the call to start the game and he went four innings and picked up the win. Preston Arbogast came in relief with the bases loaded and and no outs in the sixth and worked out of the jam for the save.

Snook and Erb had big days with the bats against Lock Haven. Erb had two hits and drove in two runs. Snook smashed two doubles and had four RBIs including a bases-clearing double in the fourth. Cole Chilson added three hits to the winning Mifflin County attack.

It was all West End in the district final. Mifflin County’s Isaac Wilson had two of the three hits including a two-run double. On defense, Jaron Yoder, Mifflin County’s second baseman, had an outstanding catch in the fifth inning before West End ended the game with three runs and 10-run rule.

This will be the 69th different field in which Mifflin County has played and it will be farthest in western Pennsylvania since Mifflin County played in Sharon in 1959 and Meadville in 1966.

However, it is not the farthest west that Mifflin County has been as it has been to Babe Ruth World Series in Iowa, Indiana and Washington state.

When Mifflin County takes on Westmoreland (Greensburg), it will mark the 93rd different Pennsylvnaia team and the 124th overall including hosts for Mid-Atlantic regionals and World Series from 21 different states.

The team is coached by Andy Arnold and his assistants, Cody Heane, Bill Phillips and Rocky Matthews.

Mifflin County enters the state playoffs with a 675-296 record.