ALTOONA - The end was fast and furious.
Mifflin County scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to beat Blue Valley, 13-3, in the 13-year-old Pennsylvania Babe Ruth tournament. The game ended in the bottom of the fifth under the 10-run rule; Mifflin Counth had two outs at the time.
Mifflin County only led 5-3 going into the fifth, but the local all-stars just kept scoring and scoring and before the Blue Valley could get a third out, the game was over.
Sentinel photo by CHRISTOPHER?SHANNON
Mifflin County’s Issac Matthews slides under the tag of Blue Valley’s Kevin Manz as he successfully steals second base during Mifflin County’s 13-year-old Babe Ruth state tournament game Friday in Altoona.
Mifflin County now plays ChiChester in a must win game at 2 p.m. today. Mifflin County is now 1-1 in pool play. West End beat ChiChester on Friday, 10-0, in five innings. ChiChester is also 1-1, while West End is 2-0 and Blue Valley is 0-2.
"I think we played really well today," said Scott Reigle, the Mifflin County manager. "When you can hold a team to under three runs or less you have done a good job. We finally scored some runs and they all came right at the end."
Before the fifth-inning rally, it was the pitching of Drew Westover that held the Blue Valley bats at bay. Westover picked up the win with a complete game. He struck out three, allowed six hits, all in the first three innings, and walked five.
"Drew (Westover) had an outstanding game," Reigle said. "He struggled with strikes for awhile, but when he settled down, he was in control of the game."
Blue Valley (District 4) scored a run in each of the first three innings.
Justin Stasiak led off with a walk and later scored on a base hit in the first. In the second Riley Held opened with a single and after two more base hits tied the game at 2-2. In the third, Blue Valley scored a run with two outs as Peter Tocket singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on an error. At that point, Blue Valley led 3-2. It would be the last time the District 4 champs would be in front.
Mifflin County opened the first with two runs as Jared Hannon walked, stole second and moved to third on an infield hit by Isaac Matthews. Gavin Swineford singled home Hannon and Jared King scored Matthews on a sacrifice fly.
But that was it until the bottom of the fourth. Trailing 3-2, Mifflin County started to attack.
Tyreen Smalley reached on error to open the fourth and Westover followed with a single. Ty Narehood bunted the two runners into scoring position, but when Brody Kenepp popped up to the pitcher there were two outs and Mifflin County looked to be in trouble.
Hannon came to the rescue. He singled up the middle for two runs and and later scored on a Matthews base hit.
Then in the fifth, the roof caved in on Blue Valley.
Max Oburn led off with a walk and Smalley followed with another base on balls. One out later, Avery Haubrick walked to load the bases.
Kenepp then unloaded for a single that scored two runs and the rout was on.
Hannon drew another walk and Matthews picked up an RBI when he drew four balls. Then Swineford hit a single for two runs. King reached on an error and Oburn singled home another run. The next batter for Mifflin County struck out, but when Connor Yoder hit a fly ball to right field, the Blue Valley outfielder misplayed it and the final runs came home.
Mifflin County only had one error in the game and it had two double plays. In the third, Blue Valley had a runner on first (Stasiak) when Alejandro Santiago flew out to Hannon in left field. Hannon then threw to first as Stasiak had gone to second thinking the ball was going to go for extra bases.
In the fourth, Kevin Manz struck out and when Joey Schrader, who had walked, tried to steal second and the Mifflin County catcher, Swineford, threw him out. Swineford also picked off a runner to close out the first inning.