Baseball history is rewritten by the Babe Ruth class of 2018

Mifflin County Babe Ruth’s class of 2018 is history. Here is a look back at the team and the supporting players from the past three years:

¯ Colby Bodtorf — A local fan at the Mid-Atlantic Regional said, “That Colby Bodtorf is the spark plug that makes Mifflin County run.” And so he was. Bodtorf set the table for the big hitters behind him. He had a hit in 18 of the 22 games this year. And on the mound, he was the team’s top starting pitcher. His play at shortstop was a work of art. And who can forget that he had the save two years ago as a 13-year-old that clinched the national title.

¯ Connor Cherry — Cherry with his bat and arm played a key role in getting Mifflin County to two Babe Ruth World Series. As a 13-year-old, Connor had the hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh that tied the game and sent it into extras in the regional final. As a 15-year-old he was the winning pitcher against West End. He went five innings, walked three and struck out seven. Connor paved the way to Iowa and Washington.

¯ Casey Conner — He was a hitting machine. And when he wasn’t getting hits, he was getting on base other ways. He had a hit in 17 games and was on base in 21 of the 22 games. Conner had two four-hit games, one in the regional and one in the Babe Ruth World Series. He will always be remembered for two long home runs — one as a 13-year-old in Belleville that went 350 feet and one in Lehighton that former WCHX radio announcer Andrew Bern said was headed to New Jersey.

¯ Bryce Dobson — What a way for a player to end his Babe Ruth career. Dobson went 4-for-4 in the last pool game against New Hampshire including a walk-off home run and then won the batting title for the Babe Ruth World Series. He also pitched the last inning of the 2018 regional and got the last out, a pop up to himself.

¯ Ethan Eichhorn — This is the one man who solidified the squad into the historic team that it became. As a 13-year-old, he had to handle the catching chores and pitched. His work behind the plate was beyond what anyone could expect. Just ask the manager from Queensbury, N.Y., in the regional final — he said Eichhorn was the difference. As a 15-year-old, he moved to third base and played like a pro. Against California, he took a sure hit away when he jumped up and caught a ball headed to left field. On the mound, he had a no-hitter as a 13-year-old and a shutout as a 15-year-old. He got an RBI in every 2018 World Series game.

¯ Brycen Hassinger — As a 13-year-old, he had the game-winning hit against Wisconsin in the opening game of that Babe Ruth World Series. As a 15-year-old, he carried the team in the state tournament with his bat. He had 11 hits in the state tournament and in one of those games he was 5-for-5. Only seven players in the history of the league have had five or more hits in an all-star game. As a left fielder, he threw out two runners, one of them at first base. He was one of just two players to have a hit in every Babe Ruth World Series game this year.

¯ Cole Knable — A two time all-star, he was 3-0 this year and 4-0 on the mound overall. Knable’s big game came in this year’s regional semifinal against West End. He pitched the last six innings and didn’t allow a run. He gave up just four hits in the nine-inning game and walked only one batter.

¯ Marshall Maidens — Maidens had a game to remember in the state final this year. He made two outstanding fielding plays that saved runs in a 10-3 win. He also had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run.

¯ Owen Mock — As a first time all-star, Mock got to travel to the West Coast this year. He saw limited action, but he got in as a pinch runner and scored a run in Mifflin County’s 16-4 win over Southern Washington.

¯ Jaxson Pupo — Pupo was the most improved player on the team as the starting catcher in 2018. Against Lansford in the state tournament, he had a 3-for-3 day and drove in five runs. And in Mifflin County’s 3-2 win against Tallahassee in the opening game of the Babe Ruth World Series, he drove in two runs. Behind the plate, Jaxson threw out seven runners.

¯ Todd Renninger — Renninger shared catching duties with Pupo. A first year all-star, he played in 13 games and had his biggest day in the second game of the state tournament against Franklin Township when he had two hits and drove in two runs.

¯ Cole Schlegel — A quiet player, he let his bat do the talking. In the district and state tournament, Cole helped carry the offense with seven doubles and three triples. As a 15-year-old, he didn’t see much action on the mound, but as a 13-year-old he was the winning pitcher in the Mid-Atlantic Regional final and the national championship game. He had the winning hit in the national semifinal as a 13-year-old. He was a steady right fielder who added two more doubles in the 2018 Babe Ruth World Series and drove in more than 20 runs this year.

¯ Hunter Wolfley — Wolfley was the first Beaver Springs player to get to a Babe Ruth World Series and he had thrill of a lifetime as he came into the New Hampshire game as a pinch hitter and a hit a two-run triple.

¯ Brian Yetter — Most players only dream about having a three-year career like Yetter had. As a 13-year-old, he had 10 home runs. When the pressure was on, it was Yetter who came through. He hit a solo home run in the seventh inning against North Dakota in the 13-year-old semi-finals getting Mifflin County to within a run. This year against Southeastern New York (in the regional) with Mifflin County down 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh, he hit a two-run double to tie the game. Yetter also put up a number that also may never be broken by another Mifflin County Babe Ruth All-Star: 76 RBIs.

This year’s coaching staff — manager Justin Yoder, Ryan Rupert, Dan Hassinger and Scott Pupo — led Mifflin County to becoming the only team in Pennsylvania Babe Ruth history to finish in two national finals.

These 14 players were also aided by Teagan Eddinger, Jayden Jackson, Kaden Milliron, Gage Schaeffer and Brando Souders as all-stars in the class of 2018. Yoder and his staff managed the team in 2017 (14-year-olds) and the 13-year-old manager was Scott Reigle with coaches Jared Edwards and Josh Edwards.

In three years the teams went 42-4 with two district titles, two state championships, a state runner-up, two regional titles, a national runner-up and a national title.

The class of 2018 will go down as the best to ever come out of the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League. Babe Ruth baseball has been played here since 1955, 64 years. This class will pass the test of time.

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Ray Wilde covers Babe Ruth baseball for The Sentinel.

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