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Post 287 falls in region opener

LATROBE — The top seed from Westmoreland County’s American Legion baseball league scored eight runs on six hits to defeat Mifflin County, 8-1, on the first day of the Region 7 tournament in Latrobe Friday.

Post 287 staked the first lead of the contest, a run produced by an Ethan Eichhorn double, Mifflin County’s only extra-base hit in the contest. That run was the first scored against Bushy Run in more than 40 innings — Post 260 shut out all of its opponents in its league tournament.

And while the local nine was able to produce more hits in the game, the Westmoreland side capitalized on a dozen walks issued by four Mifflin County pitchers to take a lead that would not be relinquished in the other half of the opening frame.

“Walks really killed us,” Mifflin County manager Bernie Howard said. “In the first inning, they hit the ball pretty well but even then I felt we should have been out of the inning giving them maybe two of the three runs.”

Still, sitting on the 3-1 lead at the start of the third, Post 287 juiced the bags and seemed ready to make a game of it, but Tyler Horvat — the winning pitcher who went the distance for Bushy Run — helped his team wiggle out of the jam.

“That’s the one that killed us,” Howard lamented. “From that point he held the MC bats in check.”

In the home half of the third, Connor Cherry got the first two outs, but Post 287 was unable to seal the deal.

“Then we had an error and a hit batsman, and a mental error I would say,” Howard said, explaining the latter as a triple that could have been an out but the ball was not judged well.

“They picked up two runs in the fourth inning on bases-loaded walks,” he said, but that wasn’t the problem. “When you only score one run you’ve got problems. That was not characteristic of us.”

Or, in simpler terms, “If you make a mistake, it’s almost sure that the opponent is going to cash it in. That’s what happened to us today.”

Horvat struck out six — matching the effort of three Mifflin County hurlers — and allowed just one free pass. He also had the biggest hit of the game, a bases-loaded triple that was Post 287’s falling point in the third.

Max Oburn went 3-for-4 for Mifflin County, the only multiple hitter of the game.

Mifflin County returns to action in the double-elimination tournament at 11 a.m. today against Punxsutawney Post 62.

Mifflin County 100 000 0 — 1-8-3

Bushy Run 303 200 x — 8-6-0

WP Tyler Horvat. LP Connor Cherry. SO: Cherry 2, Tyreen Smalley 2, Noah Wright 2 (MC); Horvat 6 (BR). BB: Cherry 3, Smalley 5, Holden Yocum 3, Wright 1 (MC); Horvat 1 (BR). 3B: Horvat (BR). 2B: Eichhorn (MC). MH: Max Oburn 3-4 (MC). RBI (MC): Eichhorn; Horvat 3, Connor Vannias 2, Luke Fabis, Ron Kosinsky, Tyler Chrise (BR).

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