Semifinal game took three days for mercy-rule win
MILROY — The game took three days to finish but Mifflin County wouldn’t change a thing after the 13-year-olds advanced to the Babe Ruth state championship and clinched a regional berth with a 13-1 win in five innings over Franklin Township Thursday morning at Armagh Field.
“It’s going to be whatever it’s going to be,” Mifflin County manager Bill Corbin said. “It will be a good game.”
Mifflin County advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regional, which begins Saturday in Altoona.
Torrential rains Tuesday and Wednesday forced officials to move the contest to Thursday morning and play three games in one day. The game restarted in the fourth inning with Franklin Township at the plate with runners on first and second with no outs, down 13-0.
Franklin Township avoided the shutout when Austin Greene reached on an error, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and came home on a wild pitch.
The visitors had runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth before Mifflin County pitcher Adrian Everley induced Greene into the game-ending groundout.
“This is one of the longest games I’ve ever been involved with, other than when we had the tie games we had to finish up weeks later in the regular season,” Corbin said. “Trying to keep the kids focused is the toughest part with games like this. We were fortunate to have the big lead. I feel bad for them because they had to stay in motels and being behind like that is tough to come back from.”
Caden Wolfley and Everley, the winning pitcher, combined to give up one unearned run on three hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Talan Sensinger took the loss for Franklin Township.
“Our pitching has been pretty good the whole tournament. We struggled in the fourth game with a lot of walks. Overall, we’ve done a good job the whole tournament trail,” Corbin said. “I don’t think we are an overly deep team, but we’ve done a fairly decent job.”
Mifflin County, leading 10-0 when the game was suspended on Tuesday, tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the second.
A total of 17 batters came to the plate in the second with Mifflin County collecting 11 hits.
Tucker Gill started the scoring bonanza with a two-run single to left plating Ryan Kanagy and Landen Eichhorn for the 2-0 lead. Hunter Bailey reached on a base hit while Deakon Schaeffer walked to load the bases. Caden Wolfley got an RBI walk bringing home Eichhorn. Xavier Smith ripped a two-run base hit to left for the 5-0 advantage, chasing Sensinger.
The runs just kept on coming. Trevor Sheaffer was hit by a pitch and Kanagy, who started the inning, collected a two-run knock to left, making it 7-0. Sheaffer scored on an error, Kanagy on a wild pitch and Bailey doubled to left scoring Eichhorn, who reached on his second base hit of the game.
Wednesday began, still in the second, with Tye Plank bringing home Gill on a base hit to center. Schaeffer scored Bailey on a groundout to second and Wolfley plated Plank with a double to left for the 13-0 lead.
Mifflin County out-hit Franklin Township 13-3. Smith, Kanagy, Eichhorn, Gill and Bailey had two hits each. Smith, Wolfley, Kanagy and Gill racked up two RBIs apiece.
“We’ve been able to score in bunches so we know we’re never out of the game because of that. We’ve had two or three games like this where the hitting is contagious. Everybody hits. We’re capable of having games like this,” Corbin said.