Babe Ruth tournaments by the numbers
Here are some trivia notes from the Babe Ruth tournament trail:
¯ Mifflin County has a 17-9 record in opening games in the Mid-Atlantic Regional and is 7-3 in 13-year-old contests. Mifflin County’s record in Altoona is 16-20.
¯ Since 1998, when the 14-year-old program was started by Babe Ruth baseball, Mifflin County has qualified three teams into the state tourmnamet 17 times out of 21 years. Eight times, Mifflin County has had all three teams make the final four, which is tops in the state.
¯ Here are the teams that Bill Corbin’s 13-year-olds beat in state finals before Thursday’s 1-0 win over Centre County: In 1987, Caln Township, 7-5; 1990, Phoenixville, 5-4; 2003, Tri-Township, 8-7; and 2007, Broomall-Newtown, 4-2.
¯ Mifflin County has won two previous state titles with shutouts. In 2002, Nate Burkey beat Gettysburg, 5-0 (15-year-olds) and in 2005, Nate Saltzer whitewashed State College (14-year-olds), 3-0.
¯ Xavier Smith becomes just the second Burnham pitcher to get a win in a state title game. Norm Heane was the winning pitcher in 1981 when Mifflin County beat Drexel Hill, 8-5, in the 15-year-old state championship.
¯ The Eichhorn family loves 13-year-old state championships. Gary Eichhorn was on the 13-year-old team in 1987 and his two sons have also duplicated the feat. Ethan was a member of the 2016 13-year-old title team and Landen is now on the 2019 state 13-year-old championship squad.
¯ Other family conections on the current 13-year-old team include Ryan Kanagy and Caden Wolfley. Kanagy’s father, Jeff, was on the 1987 14-15-year-old state championship team. Jeff was a catcher. His 13-year-old son is also behind the plate. Caden Wolfley’s older brother, Hunter Wolfley, was a member of the 2018 15-year-old state title team.
¯ Mifflin County has now had a state champion in each of the last four years, 2016, 13-year-olds; 2017, 15-year-olds; 2018, 15-year-olds; and 2019, 13-year-olds.
¯ When Centre County beat West End in the 13-year-old semifinals it stopped West End’s streak of placing at least one team in the state finals at 11 years (2008-2018), The record is held by State College, which accomplished the feat 13 times from 1998-2010. Mifflin County is third with 10 years, 2001-2010. Also, since West End failed to win any state title this year, the record for most state titles in a decade is still held by Mifflin County at 10 in the 2000s. West End had eight in the 2010s and could have topped Mifflin County if it had won all three state titles this year.