MC 14Us have familiar path to title
World Series play on Aug. 14
WILLISTON, ND — If you have followed Mifflin County Babe Ruth through the years, you might be shocked to read this next statement.
When the Mifflin County 14-year-olds take the field in Williston, North Dakota on August 14, they have the same bracket as the Mifflin County 13-year-olds had in 2016 when they won the national title.
The World Series opens on August 13, but Mifflin County has the day off. Then it meets the winner of the Ohio Valley, Mid-West Plains, New England and the host team in pool play. Single elimination play starts on August 18 and the national finals are on August 20.
What makes this pool so much different than most World Series pools is that all the teams are in the northern half of the country.
Mifflin County will meet two different areas in pool play. Massachusetts is representing New England and since this is Mifflin County’s first time playing in Williston it will be the first time playing the North Dakota host.
That brings the total number of Pennsylvania leagues or division of leagues (98), hosts in the Mid-Atlantic (7), hosts in the World Series (4) and states and regions (26) to a total of 135 that Mifflin County has played during the last 68 years,
With playing Massachusetts it marks the 22nd state that Mifflin County has played against including Pennsylvania,
What makes it confusing is that some states are divided into separate regions and that is why the states and regions number is higher than 22. Example would be California. which has Northern and Southern regions.
Here is a run down on the
10 (teams) leagues in the
Game 1, Aug. 14, against Ohio Valley, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 11 a.m., Central Standard Time
Mifflin County met Eau Claire in 2016 in the first game of the 13-year-old World Series. Mifflin County won 4-3 in eight innings as Bryson Hassinger had the game-winning hit. Mifflin County leads the series, 1-0.
Game 2, Aug. 15 against Midwest Plains, Fargo, North Dakota. 11 a.m. CST
As many times as Mifflin County has met teams from North Dakota, you would think they are right next door. Mifflin County has a 2-1 lead on North Dakota teams.
It was a North Dakota team (Fargo) that gave the national champions their only loss of the tournament trail in 2016. And who can forget the battle between the two teams in the national semifinals as Cole Schlegel knocked in the winning run with a base hit in the bottom of the seventh. Mifflin County won, 7-6.
Last summer in Eagle Pass, Texas, Mifflin County beat Bismark, 2-1, in the quarter finals. Landen Eichhorn went the distance on the mound and Xavier Smith had the big hit in the top of the seventh that put Mifflin County ahead.
Fargo won a national title at the 13-year-old level in 2019 in Massachusetts.
Game 3, Aug. 16, against Norfolk, Massachusetts (located right outside of Boston), 5:30 p.m. CST
MIfflin County has a 3-1 record against teams from New England. Mifflin County has a 2-1 mark against Connecticut and is 1-0 against New Hampshire.
Last year at the 15-year-old World Series, Mifflin County fell to Connecticut the first time they met in pool play, 4-0, but in the national semifinals, Mifflin County pulled out a 6-4 win thanks to a dropped ball by the Connecticut pitcher in the seventh inning and then a two run single by Ryan Kanagy.
In 2018 in Longview. Washington. Bryce Dobson hit a walk-off home run that took care of New Hampshire by a 10 run margin (12-0).
Game 4, Aug. 17 against the host team, Williston, North Dakota, 8 p.m., CST.
This is the fourth time that Williston has hosted a World Series. The other years were 1980 (15-year-olds), 2003 (15-year-olds) and 2013 (13-year-olds).
Mifflin County has played the host in four of the five World Series and has a 4-0 record.
The other five teams
Pacific Northwest: Puyallup, Washington. Puyallup is located outside of Tacoma (Southern Washington).
It seems like every World Series that Mifflin County has played in they have met a team from Washington. Mifflin County holds a 4-1 edge in games played against the Evergreen State. It has beaten Kelso three times, twice as a host and once as the Pacific Northwest representative in 2021 in Texas. The lone loss came in 2004 as Mifflin County fell in the last game of pool play on a walk-off home run in the eighth inning.
Pacific Southwest: Tri-Valley, California (Northern California). Tri-Valley is located outside of San Francisco. It is one of the most powerful Babe Ruth leagues in the nation. It has won 10 national titles (in all three age groups) including one last year when it beat Mifflin County in the 15-year-old national finals in Texas, 9-1. Mifflin County’s record against California is 1-2.
In 2011, Tri-Valley beat Tri-Township (Bucks County) in the finals at Jamestown, New York. Tri-Township had the longest winning streak in Pennsylvania history, 21 games (in one season) as it lost 3-1 in eight innings.
Southeast: Tallahassee, Florida (Northern Florida). This is another power house league. Tallahassee has won six national titles, three at 15 and three at 13.
Mifflin County has a 1-3 record against Tallahassee including a 7-4 loss in the 2018 15-year-old national finals. Mifflin County’s only win came in the 2018 tournament, 3-2. The first loss was in 2002 in the quarterfinals, 1-0.
Southwest: Arkadelphia (Arkansas). Mifflin County has a 1-0 record against Arkansas. In 2002, Mifflin County took on Bryant in the second game of pool play and came away with a 16-0 win in Connersville, Indiana. Matt Wright threw a shutout and was backed by four home runs. A.J. Yoder hit two including a grand slam and Nate Burkey and Brandon Mazzoni each hit one. Travis Wood, who later became a major league pitcher, played in the outfield in the game. He pitched in Bryant’s opener.
The 10th spot belongs to the state champion from North Dakota, another team from Fargo.