No lack of support for Mifflin County all-stars

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Mifflin County’s 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars know how much support they are getting from back home. All they need to do is look at the stands — and not just at the fans.

Before the team left for the west coast, Tracy Lynn Gisewhite of Valley Vinyl and Craft Attic had special rally towels made for the team: redemption towels.

The redemption is for last season, when Mifflin County was upset by West End in the 14-year-old state final. Parents and fans get to wave the towels, just like at Pittsburgh Steeler games with the Terrible Towel. Also, a new Mifflin County company called CLUTCH sent the team T-shirts with Mifflin County Babe Ruth All-Stars on printed on them. They were distributed to the team after its 12-0 win over New Hampshire.

They are the second set of shirts tied to the World Series team; Lewistown’s Impress Design and Print produced “We Are World Serious” shirts as a fundraiser prior to the trip west.

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With its 4-0 finish in pool play, the team earned a day off. Most of the players, coaches and parents took time to go sightseeing and take some time away from the ballpark.

Most nights after the games, Mifflin County’s kids has been playing spike ball and just keeping their minds off of baseball. Another big pasttime is fishing — this same team did a lot of that in Iowa two years ago when they were 13.

But, the team did practice. Justin Yoder, the Mifflin County manager, held a workout at 7 p.m. (Pacific), the same time that the game will be played today. He did that so the players would be ready for the evening start (which will be 10 p.m. back home). Make no doubt about it, the coaching staff is doing everything it can to help the players succeed on the field.

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The teams remaining in the tournament are New Hampshire, KWRL (Centerfield, Washington), Florida, Minnesota, Longview (one of the hosts) and Mifflin County.

The local all-stars will play the winner of the New Hampshire-KWRL game today at 10:30 p.m. If New Hampshire wins, Mifflin County will face one of the toughest pitchers in the World Series in Jonah Wachter, who has thrown 11 innings of no-hit ball. Back in 2004, when the Mifflin County 15-year-olds were here in another World Series, it was Southern Washington that eliminated Mifflin County with a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.

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After the New Hampshire game everyone was asking who were the players who hit the 11 home runs in World Series play before Bryce Dobson crushed one into the left field bleachers. In 2002, A.J. Yoder and Nate Burkey each hit two and Brandon Mazzoni one. In 2004, Chris Tressler smashed one here in Longview. Then in 2016 in Iowa, Brian Yetter and Casey Conner each hit two and Ethan Eichhorn had one as 13-year-olds.

Another big moment in the game on Monday was the triple by Hunter Wolfley. Wolfley is the first player from Beaver Springs to play in a World Series and his triple was the first hit.

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The Mifflin County league was founded in 1955 and no matter what happens tonight or even tomorrow night, this team has done more than any Babe Ruth team in the 64-year history of the league. In the past three years , it has won two district titles, two state titles, had a state runner up, two Mid-Atlantic Regional championships, a national championship and now a second spot in the national final four.

There may never be another team like this. It is one for the ages.

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