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MC wins 14-inning marathon on hit by pitch

By Any Means Necessary

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Members of the Mifflin County 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star team celebrate after defeating Berkeley Heights 5-4, as Madden Weaver was hit by a pitch to drive in the winning run, in a 14-inning game, on Monday, in Altoona.

ALTOONA –What a way to go to a regioanl final.

Mifflin County used extra-innings to beat the Northern New Jersey state champion on Monday night. A lot of extra-innings.

It was in the bottom of the 14th inning that Mifflin County pulled out a 5-4 victory.

Mifflin County will play for the Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic championship and the right to go the World Series in Jamestown, New York today at 2 p.m. at Altoona’s Seitz Field.

It was the second longest game in the 67-year history of the league. The longest game occured in 1976 in the opening game of the 13-year-old state tournament in Milroy. Mifflin County and Phoenixville palyed 15 scoreless innings before Phoenixville pulled out the win in the top of the 16th.

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER.
Mifflin County’s shortstop, Chase Hartung applied a tag on Berkeley Heights’ Henry Bertsch at second base. Bertsch was ruled safe.

Max Yoder opened the bottom of the 14th with a base hit. Nazae Traxler laid down a bunt for a base hit that advanced Yoder to second. Evan Strohecker got a single to load the bases and then Madden Weaver won the game after getting hit on the foot for a walk off hit by pitch.

“The game did not transpire the way I had planned,” said Denny Yetter, the Mifflin County manager. “I had to use a lot of my pitching. But we had to win the game to get to the finals.”

“Our kids just didn’t quit. They gave it everything they had on every play. We were in some tough situations and the kids just didn’t quit,” Yetter added. “I have been blessed to be around this game for a lot of years, but this was an unbelievable game. Both teams played hard, It was a shame someone had to lose.”

Strohecker started and went six innings. Weaver was next in line and he went five and two thirds. Logan Ruth, who got the win, then pitched the next two innings plus one out in the ninth.

The Northern New Jersey champion (Berkeley Heights) put a run up in the first and scored three in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead.

It seemed like Mifflin County just couldn’t put anything together offensively. That all changed in the sixth.

Strohecker opened with a single and when the left fielder misplayed the ball, Storhecker was on second. Weaver knocked him home with a double. Reese Christine followed with an RBI single.

Chase Leister then ripped a double, scoring Christine, and Leister later scored on a sacrifice fly from Jayden Smith.

After those four runs scored the game went another eight innings.

In six innings of work, Strohecker gave up four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out two.

Weaver went five plus and gave up no runs on three hits, walked one and struck out eight.

Ruth gave up no runs on two hits, walked one and struck out two.

Mifflin County had 11 hits with Strohecker, Ruth and Christine each getting two. Weaver, Christine, Leister and Ruth each had a double.

NOTES: Mifflin County now has made 15 final fours in the regional and has made the Mid-Atlantic final 11 times…….Denny Yetter has now coached in Mifflin County’s 1,050th game, the 15-6 win over Maryland….He also was the manager for Mifflin County’s 725th victory, which was the 11-4 win over West End of Willamsport in the state final.

Saturday’s game

Mifflin County 10,

Northern New Jersey 4

ALTOONA–In most games for the Mifflin County 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars, they have depended on their hitting to see them through.

On Saturday, against Northern New Jersey, Mifflin County relied on its pitching, fielding and base running.

“Our pitching really went well today,” said Denny Yetter, the Mifflin County manager. “Logan (Ruth) did a great job and Chase (Hartung) did a good job in relief.”

Ruth went the first five innings and allowed just one run on three hits. Northern New Jersey didn’t get a hit off of Ruth after the second inning. He had one strikeout and walked one.

Austin McKnight started the fifth, but had some control problems after the first out. Hartung came in and worked out of the jam.

Northern New Jersey did get to Hartung for three runs in the seventh on two hits, a hit batter and a Mifflin County error. It was the only Mifflin County miscue in the entire game.

“We had a complete team effort today,” Yetter said, “We fielded well, and we put pressure on them on the base paths. It was a good game to win.”

Mifflin County only had five hits. One of them came in the opening inning as Evan Strohecker started the Mifflin County first with a base hit. Madden Weaver walked, pushing Strohecker to second.

Strohecker stole third and when the catcher’s throw was wide, Strohecker came home. Weaver later scored on sacrifice fly from Chase Leister.

In the third, Mifflin County put five runs on the board on two hits, two walks and two Northern New Jersey errors.

Strohecker started the rally with a bunt single and Nathan Parkes came up with a big an RBI-single down the left-field line that produced two runs.

Miffin County added another run in the fourth as Strohecker walked, stole second and came home on a Reese Christine double.

In the seventh, Mifflin County tacked on two more runs as Leister had an RBI-single and scored when Parkes reached on an error.

Jayden Smith had the defensive play of the game for Mifflin County in the fifth, as he dove for a ball on the infield from his first base position and came up with the grab.

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