15s surprise again, are in state final
DREXEL HILL — The Mifflin County Babe Ruth 15-year-olds have been doing the impossible since the tournament trail started.
On Monday, Mifflin County turned in another game that stunned a lot of people — especially the host team, Drexel Hill.
Mifflin County took out the two-time defending state champions, 4-3.
Mifflin County will now play Tri-Township, a winner over Broomall-Newtown in 10 innings, for the state championship at 5 p.m. today and the right to advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Tri-Township was the only team in the state tournament to give Mifflin County a loss, 12-8, in the opening game.
This will mark the 47th time that a Mifflin County team has appeared in a Pennsylvania Babe Ruth state final, a state record. This will mark Tri-Townships’s fourth appearance in a state championship.
On Monday,the game wasn’t decided until the sixth inning. Drexel Hill was in front 3-2 going into the top of the sixth.
Mifflin County scored two runs in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead over Drexel Hill.
With one out, Anson Wagner singled and Dylan Zellers followed with a double. Luke Lyter then drew a walk to load the bases.
Darion Molek hit a grounder that scored Wagner and then Cody Bickhart singled and drove in what turned out to be the game-winning hit.
Mifflin County scored its first two runs in the third inning. Molek got things going by being hit by a ptich. Bickhart drew a walk and then Tyler Hunter ripped an RBI double. Gavin Portzline then knocked in the second run with a run producing single.
Wagner pitched the whole game, but one pitch in the seventh. Wagner went six and two third innings, struck out five, walked two and gave up seven hits. His pitch count ended with one out to go in the seventh.
Rylan Bailey got the save with one pitch.
“They (Mifflin County) came prepared to play. We were excited and played well as a team,” said Ryan Swineford, Mifflin County’s assistant coach, “Anson (Wagner) pitched a heck of a game. Today was a total team effrort. Everybody is excited.”
Drexel Hill scored a single run in the second and two in the third.
MILROY — For the 13-year-old Babe Ruth state tournament at Milroy, the field is down to four teams.
Mifflin County finished as the top seed (3-1) and will play Franklin Township (Lehighton), the fourth seed, at 5 p.m.
Then at 8 p.m. West End (Williamsport) tangles with Centre County. West End beat Centre County 12-4 in the last game of pool play on Monday.
This will mark Mifflin County’s 78th time in a state final four, a state Babe Ruth record.
The two winners will meet for the state title at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Also the two winners on Tuesday will advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regioanal in Altoona later this month.
WILLIAMSPORT — Mifflin County will take on Broomall-Newtown at 7 p.m. in the 14-year-old Pennsylvania Babe Ruth final four.
In other game at 4 p.m., West End will meet Drexel Hill.
Broomall-Newtown is the defending state champion and finished in a tie for sixth place last year in the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series.
Mifflin Couny is the only league in the state to put all three teams into each of the respective age groups’ final four.