LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County Little League 11 and12-year-old all stars were eliminated from the District 5 tournament Tuesday evening as they dropped a 10-1 contest to State College American at Maitland Field. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to darkness.
Both teams had lost their first games of the tournament, making this meeting an elimination game. State College, playing as the visitors, wasted no time in proving that it wasn't interested in going home just yet. After Mifflin County starter Jared Hannon allowed two early baserunners, State College cleanup hitter Sean Beattie drove in Matt Steyers with a single, giving State College a lead it would never surrender.
Things got worse for the locals in the second inning. Hannon gave up an RBI groundout to Jack Hurley and looked poised to get out of the inning with just a two-run deficit. However, with runners on second and third, Beattie lined Hannon's full-count offering deep into the left-center field gap for a two-run double that pushed the lead to 4-0.
Not that State College starting pitcher David Paroda needed all that offensive support. The right hander was nearly untouchable in his five innings on the mound, allowing only two Mifflin County hits and striking out six.
Camden Shawver relieved Hannon with one out in the third inning and was able to work his way out of a jam without allowing any runs. Mifflin County couldn't chip into the lead, though, as Paroda retired the side in order with two of the outs coming from strikeouts.
"We have 10 or 11 kids that have the ability to hit the long ball, and we didn't hit tonight," Mifflin County manager Rocky Matthews said.
State College was right back at it in the top half of the fourth when Lewis Bell took advantage of a bases-loaded scenario to smash a hanging curveball out of the park to right field.
After Paroda hung yet another zero on the scoreboard, State College plated two more runs to put the game away. Steyers lead the inning off with a single, then put his aggressive base running to use when a few Mifflin County miscues allowed him to steal three bases for the score. Later in the inning, Beattie knocked in his game-high fourth RBI of the day on a groundout.
State College elected to not send Paroda back to the mound for the bottom of the sixth after R.J. Marsh's RBI single made it a 10-0 game, instead replacing him with Beattie. Mifflin County showed signs of life against the new pitcher and was able to finally get in the scoring column when Noah Wright lined a one-out single to left that scored leadoff man Wyatt Henry. However, the rally was cut short when the umpires called the game because of darkness. The game was counted as complete since five official innings had been played.
"In this sport it's all about getting hot at this point in the season and we weren't," Matthews said. "Some of these guys have had hits in every single all-star game since they were nine years old. They just didn't hit real good today."
Paroda earned the win for State College American.