Walks hurt Post 287 in season finale

LEWISTOWN — Walks were the hobgoblin for Mifflin County in its American Legion Central Penn League regular season finale against Philipsburg Monday afternoon.

Post 287 pitchers walked eight batters with four of them scoring for Philipsburg as Post 437 came away with the 6-4 victory, despite being out-hit 9-6 by Mifflin County.

“Without looking at the book, I can tell you the majority of those were lead-off walks. That always spells doom. Absolutely, the walks were the difference in the game,” Mifflin County coach Bernie Howard said. “Their pitching wasn’t overpowering, but it was around the plate and very effective. We hit the ball well, but it didn’t come at the right time obviously. We gave up too many runs. This game has no impact on the playoffs, but it would have been nice to get out of here with a win.”

Philipsburg broke a 3-3 tie with three runs in the sixth. Trey Shaw started things off with a walk before Quentin Moslak doubled in the left-center gap plating Shaw. Moslak later scored on a groundout to second by Jeremy Whitehead. Ryan Whitehead scored the final run in the inning on a passed ball giving the visitors the 6-3 advantage.

Mifflin County (6-15, 5-7) tried to mount a comeback when losing pitcher Tyreen Smalley doubled off the left-field wall and Noah Wright singled to right scoring Smalley. Wright went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Smalley and Drew Westover chipped in with two hits each.

“I know at least two of his (Wright) hits he had a two-strike count and he hit the ball hard. They were legitimate hits. He looked good. Tyreen had a nice drive to get things going in the seventh inning,” Howard said. “We hit the ball. We hit the ball well, enough to win the game. Unfortunately, giving up those free passes is a killer. They always seem to come back and bite you.”

Philipsburg took a 2-0 lead in the first when Alex Kitko and Nick Coudriet reached on back-to-back walks. Shaw singled to left, scoring Kitko, while Moslak drove in Coudriet with a knock to center.

Post 287 countered with two runs in the bottom of the first to even things up, thanks to a two-run base hit to right by Wright scored Evan Mock and Smalley.

Mifflin County took the lead at 3-2 in the third when Nick Hostetler brought home Oburn with a sacrifice fly to center.

Philipsburg knotted the game at 3-3 and once again had help from Mifflin County pitching. Carson Jones and Zach Wagner reached on back-to-back walks for Post 437. Kitko plated Wagner with an RBI single up the middle to erase the Mifflin County lead.

Kitko picked up the win in two-innings of relief. He gave up four hits, fanning two and walking none. Smalley gave up four runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Philipsburg pitchers finished with six strikeouts and one walk. Post 287 had seven strikeouts and eight walks.

Howard heads into the playoffs with serious worries about pitching depth.

“We definitely have concerns with pitching depth in the playoffs and that’s why we went with three pitchers tonight. We have a lot of guys dinged up, tight arms, and even sore arms are an issue at this point. It’s been a long year,” Howard said. “We have to be concerned about that. Tyreen gave us a little extra. We will probably play Wednesday and Connor Yoder will be ready for that game. At this point, you have to go all in.”

Post 287 will begin playoff action Wednesday when it hosts Clarence at 6 p.m.

Philipsburg 6, Mifflin County 4

Philipsburg 200 013 0 – 6-6-1

Mifflin County 201 000 1 – 4-9-0

WP: Alex Kitko. LP: Tyreen Smalley. SO: Ryan Whitehead 4, Kitko 2 (P); Drew Westover 4, Smalley 3 (MC). BB: Whitehead (P); Westover 2, Smalley 4, Holden Yocum 2 (MC). 2B: Quentin Moslak (P); Smalley, Drew Westover (MC). MH: Moslak 2-for-3 (P); Noah Wright 3-for-3, Max Oburn 2-for-4, Smalley 2-for-4, Westover 2-for-3 (MC). RBI: Moslak 2, Kitko, Trey Shaw, Jeremy Whitehead (P); Wright 3, Nick Hostetler (MC).