MC loses 2019 home opener

LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County Post 287 suffered through an awful third inning and couldn’t recover in a 7-5 loss to Beech Creek in a Central Penn League American Legion baseball contest on Sunday afternoon.

Beech Creek scored five runs in the third without getting a hit. Mifflin County disintegrated on the mound (four walks) and on defense (dropped third strike and two errors) to give Post 623 a 6-1 advantage. Despite the lead, the Crickets didn’t register a hit until the fourth inning.

The loss was the first of the year for Post 287 (2-1, 2-1). This was the debut contest for Beech Creek after two postponements.

“They are not better than us by a long shot. Everything went wrong in that one inning,” Mifflin County coach Bernie Howard said. “To our guys’ credit we didn’t fold. We were down 6-1 at that point and they didn’t even have a hit yet. The guys showed their true grit by battling back.”

Asher Corl started the big inning off for Beech Creek when a dropped third strike gave him new life on first. Mahlik Houtz and A.J. Smith walked to juice the bases, chasing starter Tyreen Smalley. Gunner Fravel reached on a fielder’s choice and Corl came home on an error for the 2-1 lead.

Tanner Spangler recorded an RBI walk for the 3-1 lead. Colton Wagner made it 4-1 when he took the walk with the bases still loaded. Fravel came home on an error and Corl, batting around, picked up the team’s third RBI walk of the inning.

Post 287 settled down, thanks to relief pitcher Ethan Eichhorn, who after giving up two runs in the disaster of a third, allowed only one Cricket run the rest of the way. Eichhorn gave up one earned run on five hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.

“Ethan Eichhorn did a fine job in relief. He settled down and threw well. We picked away at the lead, kept fighting and we didn’t quit,” Howard said.”

Mifflin County started its comeback with two runs in the third – the first came when Colby Bodtorf led off the frame with a single. Smalley and Wright had consecutive singles before Bodtorf plated on a wild pitch. Evan Mock brought home Smalley with a sacrifice fly to right.

Post 287 added a run in the fifth to make it 7-4 when Smalley singled and later scored on an Eichhorn knock to right. Wright began the seventh with a walk. Singles by Mock and Jaxon Pupo loaded the bases but the only run came on a Drew Westover RBI walk.

Mifflin County had bases loaded three times in the game and managed to score only two runs. Post 287 left 11 men on base and walked 10 Beech Creek batters.

“Leaving men on base hurts, especially when you’re behind in a game. That definitely didn’t help us today,” Howard said. “It wasn’t like they dominated us. We made our own mistakes and it cost us. We had played errorless ball to start the season up until that inning. Combine that with the walks and that makes it tough.”

Mifflin County tied it up 1-1 in the first when Bodtorf led off with an infield single, went to third on a two-base error and came home on a base hit by Wright.

Post 287 played without six on the roster, including regulars Brian Yetter and Max Oburn. Howard made no excuses for the loss.

“We are little depleted but that’s the nature of legion baseball. You have guys on vacation, working, playing travel ball and so forth. You have to roll with that,” Howard said. “No excuses. Our guys that were here today did a nice job and they’ll certainly bounce back.”

Mifflin County hit the ball well, finishing with 10 compared to five for Post 623. Wright had three hits with Smalley and Bodtorf picking up two each.

A.J. Smith recorded the win for Beech Creek. He gave up three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Trevor Hanna picked up the save in a third of an inning of relief.

“Noah Wright had an excellent game. We were within a swing of tying or winning the game right at the end. We’ll be fine,” Howard said.

Mifflin County hosts Philipsburg today at 6 p.m.

Beech Creek 7, Mifflin County 5

Beech Creek 105 100 0 – 7-5-2

Mifflin County 102 010 1 – 5-10-2

WP: A.J. Smith. LP: Tyreen Smalley. SV: Trevor Hanna. SO: Smith 3, Zane Probst 7, Hanna (BC); Smalley 3, Ethan Eichhorn 8 (MC). BB: Smith, Probst 3 (BC); Smalley 7, Eichhorn 3 (MC). 2B: Asher Corl (BC). MH: Noah Wright 3-3, Smalley 2-3, Colby Bodtorf 2-4 (MC). RBI: Corl, Smith, Tanner Spangler, Probst, Colton Wagner (BC); Wright, Eichhorn, Evan Mock, Drew Westover (MC).

Mifflin County 5, Huntingdon 1

HUNTINGDON – Colby Bodtorf gave up one run on just four hits to lead Mifflin County to the 5-1 victory over Huntingdon in the American Legion Central Penn League baseball game on Saturday.

Bodtorf gave up a run in the first inning on two hits before retiring 14 of the next 15 batters he faced. He fanned nine and walked two, throwing 89-pitches in the complete game victory.

Down 1-0, Post 287 broke through with three runs in the fifth. The key play being an RBI squeeze bunt by Noah Wright. He added a second RBI with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Jared King and Ethan Eichhorn each had an RBI for Mifflin County.

Zack Peck had two hits and the lone RBI and Jacob Henser had two hits to lead Post 24.

Mifflin County 5, Huntingdon 1

Mifflin County 000 031 1 – 5-5-0

Huntingdon 100 000 0 – 1-4-0

WP: Colby Bodtorf. LP: Isaac Snare. SO: Bodtorf 9 (MC); Snare 2, Nick Gearhart 2 (H). BB: Bodtorf 2 (MC); Snare 2, Gearhart 4, Caden Rupert 4 (H). 2B: Jacob Henser (H). MH: Henser 2-3, Peck 2-3 (H). RBI: Noah Wright 2, Jared King, Ethan Eichhorn (MC); Peck (H).

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