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MC 13s ready for the test of Regionals

ALTOONA –There was one thing for sure at the Pennsylvania 13-year-old Babe Ruth state tournament in McAlisterville –Mifflin County hit the ball.

In five games, the Mifflin County 13-year-olds had 61 hits as they captured the 2021 state title.

Mifflin County moves on to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Altoona, which begins on Friday. Mifflin County will play three games in pool play before the tournament goes into a single elimination bracket.

The winner of the Mid-Atlantics goes to the World Series in Jamestown, New York.

The only game in the state tournament that didn’t produce a lot of offense was the semifinals when Mifflin County edged Tri-County by a 1-0 score.

Mifflin County had to go extra-innings in the first game of the tourney to beat Scranton, 8-7. It then defeated Drexel Hill, 11-8, and bombed Broomall-Newtown, 15-2. In the state title game it beat West End of Williamsport, 11-4.

Mifflin County plays the Southern New Jersey runner-up in the first game (2 p.m.). Then on Saturday it meets the Northern New Jersey runner-up (11 a.m.) and on Sunday it wraps up its pool play with Maryland at 2 p.m.

Other leagues in the tournament will be Altoona (the host), West End, and the Southern and Northern New Jersey champions.

One thing that will be different is the size of the ball park. McAlisterville had wide open spaces, while the Altoona field is more compact.

“Our offense carried us in the state tournament,” Mifflin County 13-year-old manager Denny Yetter said. “We hit the ball from one (leadoff) through our ninth hitter. A lot of our players could be a number two or three hitters in other teams lineups. We have to play one pitch and one game at a time.”

As a team Mifflin County hit .399. Logan Ruth and Reese Christine each had 10 hits, while Evan Strohecker, Madden Weaver, Chase Leister and Nathan Parkes each had seven. Max Yoder was close behind with six.

Mifflin County had 11 extra-base hits with Christine leading the way with four — two doubles and two triples. Weaver, Parkes and Ruth each had two.

Christine and Weaver each scored 10 runs and Strohecker was next up with eight.

In the pitching department, Weaver went 2-0 including a two hit shutout over Tri-County in the semifinal. He also picked up a win over Scranton in relief. He allowed no runs in 10 innings of work.

Strohecker, Leister and Ruth each went 1-0. Leister had four excellent innings against Broomall and Ruth nailed down the state title against West End as he started and was in control for the five innings that he worked.

Mifflin County used eight different pitchers and Strohecker came in relief of Ruth to clinch the title. Austin McKnight also had three innings of relief work in the 15-2 win over Broomall.

On defense, Mifflin County only committed five errors and Christine, from behind the plate, threw out four runners, including three in the opening game of the tournament.

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