Locals put big runs up against host
WILLIAMSPORT — ABC had a show on Saturday afternoon called Wide World of Sports famous for its slogan: The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Mifflin County felt nothing but the thrill after getting the 15-2 win over Altoona in five innings in the opening round of the District 8 Babe Ruth 13-year-old Tournament at Robert B. Logue Field on Friday. The game was called after five because of the 10-run rule.
Mifflin County advances in the winner’s bracket to face West End, a 13-7 winner over Centre County, today at 8 p.m.. They have an automatic berth to states no matter what happens at districts because of hosting the state tournament beginning July 11 at Armagh Field.
Juniata County had it elimination bracket contest postponed due to rain. Juniata was up 1-0 over Altoona in the bottom of the second when play stopped. The game will resume today at 2 p.m.
If Juniata wins, it will meet Centre County at 5 p.m., ahead of Mifflin County and West End.
With heavy rains in the forecast, the games could be a wash-out. If that occurs, all games will be moved to Sunday with the championship game slated for Monday at 2 p.m with an if-necessary game at 5 p.m.
Mifflin County, down 1-0 against Altoona in the bottom of the first, put the game away with a 12-run, nine-hit barrage in the frame. The victors finished with 14 hits.
“We had a whole bunch of hits early and that usually doesn’t happen. It’s fortunate, It gives you leeway to do a couple different things,” Mifflin County manager Bill Corbin said. “That was our game plan goung in, to use different guys because we are already in the state tournament anyway, we wanted to look at different people in different places.”
Trevor Sheaffer and Hunter Bailey each had two-run singles, while Ryan Kanagy, Xavier Smith and Tucker Gill collected an RBI knock, Cole Shutt had an RBI walk, Caden Wolfley plated on an error and Deakon Schaeffer scored on a wild pitch. Sheaffer batted around and later come home on a wild pitch.
“Again, you don’t expect your offense to come out and do that so early. It’s a nice thing, but we can’t always rely on that,” Corbin said. “I’ll take pitching and defense any day because that’s what wins games. Jumping out like we did was very fortunate. Our defense played a great game. I didn’t realize we didn’t have an error.”
Mifflin County added two runs in the third when Schaeffer reached on an error, went to second on another Altoona error and scored on a wild pitch. Wolfley singled, stole second and crossed home on a double to left by Kanagy.
Aiden Everely scored the final run for Mifflin County in the fourth when he reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second on a passed ball and plated on a base hit by Sheaffer.
Sheaffer was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, Kanagy had two hits and two runs driven in, Schaeffer had three hits and Wolfley had two hits. Bailey finished with two RBIs.
“I don’t think Altoona is as bad as they looked. When you get down like that, it’s awful tough to come back,” Corbin said. “They are a better team than what the scoreboard said.”
Ryan Hine and Everley combined to limit Altoona to only two runs on three hits. Hine picked up the win, allowing a run on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Landon Stiffler suffered the loss for Altoona.
“That’s the key. We preach pitching and defense because if you don’t give up a lot of runs, you don’t have to score many runs,” Corbin said. “I thought Hine pitched decent today. He started out a little shaky, but for his first all-star game from a different area, he did well. Aidan came in and did a decent job. He started a little shaky too and then got in a groove. We have some depth, our defense is good, but it’s only one game. We have to keep our intensity up and be ready for Saturday.”
The win by Corbin was No. 699 for his career, extending his Pennsylvania Babe Ruth record.