Photo by Kathy Reed
By Kenny Varner
MILROY – Next stop North Dakota!!
With their 8-3 eight inning win over Broomall-Newtown the MIfflin County 14-year-olds are headed to the Babe Ruth World Series in North Dakota. The group etched their name into the MIfflin County history books with teams that earned the same World Series run.
Along with the trip for the 14s, manager Bill Corbin, who coached the 15s last season to a Wild Series run, will have to pack his bags once again.
“It’s amazing! I just can’t believe that lightning struck twice that we are going two years in a row,” said MIfflin County coach Bill Corbin. “I thought it was once in a lifetime.”
It was a gutsy effort by the crew that fell behind 3-1 early and was able to claw and scratch their way back into the game, eventually sending the game into extra innings before eventually pushing five across in the eighth to clinch the victory.
“I thought the kids played great tonight ,” added Corbin.
Mifflin County starting pitcher Madden Weaver was tough on the mound and got stronger as the game went on.
He finished the night going seven innings, allowing only three hits and two earned runs, three total runs and five strike outs.
For the second night in a row Chase Hartung came in and shut the door on the MIfflin County opponent.
Three of those came in the sixth and seventh.
Mifflin County tallied eight hits on the evening.
Leading the offensive attack was Braxton Smith who posted three hits and two RBIs.
Others picking up hits for the victors were Reese Christine,Elliot Yetter, Gavin Powell, Chase Leister and Weaver.
Mifflin County led off the contest with a first inning run.
Yetter led off the game with a walk.
With one out, Logan Ruth followed with a walk of his own.
Christine smashed a sizzler into centerfield, scoring Yetter on the play.
Broomall bounced back in the bottom of the inning, posting two.
Justin DiSantis walked to start the inning off.
Jackson Barger doubled on a blooping hit to the opposite field, sending DiSantis to third.
Aidan Curran brought in DiSantis on a fielders choice, tying the contest.
Sean Grogan hit a sacrifice fly into center to end the first inning, 2-1.
With the game heading into second, Broomall picked up another run on a MIfflin County miscue, giving them a 3-1 advantage.
Mifflin County battled back in the third inning.
Yetter would once again get the team jump started with his second walk of the contest.
Weaver also walked.
Ruth hit a fly ball to third which was dropped by the third baseman. On the play, Yetter would advance to third and during the play there was some confusion on the Broomall side which allowed Yetter to run home, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Then the defense made its presence known in bottom of the inning.
With one out, Grogan smashed what looked to be a gapper into left centerfield.
However, Leister put his body on the line to make the diving catch, keeping Broomall from extra bases.
Both teams held the other scoreless.
Like in the previous inning, Mifflin County was saved from potential runs by a fearless catch by Leister. Leister caught a foul ball and injured his hand on the fencing. He remained in the game while his teammates rallied around him.
Case in point came in the fifth.
Nathan Parkes was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
Hartung layed down a picture perfect bunt, moving Parkes up a base.
With one swing of the bat, Yetter tied the game as he hit a laser shot into right, scoring Parkes and tying the game.
Going into the seventh, Broomall bent but didn’t break as the MIfflin County crew got the bases loaded but couldn’t get the last hit to finish the deal.
The game went into extras and MIfflin County was able to use its patience at the plate to pick up some runs.
With a little help by some aggressive running and some Broomall errors, MIfflin County added five runs.
Having the 5-run cusion was more than enough for Hartung as he with the help of his defense send down Broomall 1-2-3, punching their ticket to North Dakota and another shot for MIfflin County to show the rest of the nation what the meaning of the phrase from legendary MIfflin County Babe Ruth historian “MC Baby!”