MILROY - Cole Baker might only be 13-years-old, but right now he has the Mifflin County All Stars on his shoulders.
Baker pitched and batted Mifflin County to a 10-4 win over Gettysburg Sunday night.
Mifflin County needed a win desperately to stay in the tournament and to avoid being eliminated with an 0-2 record. Mifflin County will now face the loser of the Perry County-Altoona game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Perry County plays Altoona tonight at 7 p.m., weather permitting.
Sentinel photo by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON
Mifflin County second baseman Carson King applies the late tag as Altoona’s Trevor Miller swipes second base during Mifflin County’s Babe Ruth District 7 13-year-old tournament game against Altoona Saturday evening in Milroy.
Baker pitched a complete game allowing six hits, striking out four and walking four.
Mifflin County jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first on just one hit. Kyle Peachey had the only hit in the inning, an RBI single. Gettysburg gave up four walks and two errors. One of those walks was to Collin Stuck with the bases loaded.
Gettysburg came right back with three runs in the bottom of the first as Baker gave up three hits and two walks. But, after that Baker was in shut down mode as Gettysburg didn't score again until the seventh.
Meanwhile, Mifflin County built on its 4-3 lead with runs in the second and fifth. In the second, Drew Williams had a sacrifice fly and Peachey scored on a balk.
In the fifth, Mifflin County scored three times thanks to a big hit by Baker and a hustle play from Marcus Donahey.
Carson King drew a walk and Aaron Wagner was sent in to pinch run. Wagner stole second. Stuck continued the inning with a walk and then Donahey hit into a fielder's choice that erased Stuck at second, but Donahey beat the double play throw to first base.
Baker then ripped a triple to the wall, scoring Wagner and Donahey, and when the relay throw was errant, Baker raced home.
Again in the seventh, it was Baker who scored Mifflin County's 10th run. With two out, Baker walked, stole second and third and scored when the Gettysburg catcher tried to throw him out at third and the ball went in to left field.
"Cole (Baker) had a rough first inning, but came back and pitched a nice game," Mifflin County manager Bill Corbin said. "We played better defense tonight (compared to Saturday). Cole also had the big hit. He crushed that ball. Marcus Donahey hustled to beat that throw for a double play and that was big because it set up Baker's hit. Those are the little things that you don't see in a box score that can help you win."
Altoona 13, Mifflin County 3
MILROY - Mifflin County Babe Ruth 13-year-old manager, Bill Corbin, was a prophet Saturday night.
Before the start of the District 7 Babe Ruth 13-year-old tournament, Corbin said he was concerned about his team throwing strikes and fielding the ball.
On Saturday night, made his team made him look like a soothsayer.
Mifflin County pitchers gave up six walks and committed six errors and was blasted by Altoona, 13-3, in six innings. The game was stopped because of the 10-run rule.
"I didn't think our pitchers threw that bad, but you can't have that many errors, especially early in the game," Corbin pointed out. "They made the plays and we didn't."
Mifflin County had six errors all in the first three innings.
The last time Mifflin County lost at home by the 10-run rule was in the 2003 Mid-Atlantic Regional to Metro New York and that team went on to the World Series.
Altoona only had eight hits and didn't get the first one until the third inning. But, by then Mifflin County was already down, 3-0.
In the first inning, Altoona scored three times on two walks and three Mifflin County errors.
Then in the third inning, Altoona took control of the game on five hits and three more Mifflin County miscues.
Three RBI singles in the inning by Cole Gibson, Ryan Shope and Jacob Huber helped the Altoona cause.
One of the few bright spots for Mifflin County was the relief pitching of Joe Taptich.
Drew Williams started for Mifflin County, but didn't get out of the third inning. Taptich finished the third and threw two scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth, before Altoona finally scored again.
Finally in the sixth, Altoona put together another three-hit inning that wrapped up the game. Shope had a two-run single, while Max Sankey ripped a an RBI double.
Mifflin County only had six hits with two of those coming back to back in the first inning. Kyle Peachey drew a two out walk and Cole Baker knocked him home with a double. Williams followed with an RBI base hit and Mifflin County got as close as it would get all night at 3-2.
In the third, Mifflin County scored its last run of the day as Nick Hostetler singled, stole second and scored on another Baker double.
With one out in the fourth, Mifflin County mounted a small comeback. Derick Cross walked and Carson King and Collin Stuck followed with singles to load the bases.
But, Hostetler and Aaron Kanagy failed to get the ball out of the infield and that turned out to be Mifflin County's last real threat.
T.J. Becker started for Altoona and went the first four innings and picked up the win. He allowed all three runs and gave up all six hits. Becker walked two and struck out one. Avery McGinnis closed out the win for Altoona as he struck out two, gave up no hits and walked one.
Notes: Baker was the only multiple hitter for Mifflin County with two. ... Shope was the only multiple hitter for Altoona with two. ... Altoona only committed one error and it came late in the game in the sixth inning. ... Perry County defeated Gettysburg, 11-7, on Saturday.