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Epic Divisional Championship deprived of Clearcut Winner after controversial call

Mount Union and Mifflin County met in the Divisional Championship round to determine who would take the title and automatic bid to the state competition. It was a rivalry in the making as both teams boasted tough teams.

After splitting the season series the game had all the making of an epic championship match up.

Mifflin County took the first contest while Mount Union took the second.

After 7 2/3 innings of play a controversial call at first delivered the title to the Trojans, taking the 4-3 extra inning affair.

Taking the victory for Mount Union was Zach Baird. He relieved starting pitcher Dylan Gearhart in the eighth.

Taking the hard luck loss was MC’s Colby Bodtorf.

After the Mifflin County squad tied things up in the seventh, sending the game into extras, Mount Union battled to take the step to victory.

The Trojans sent Mifflin County down 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Starting off the bottom of the eighth, Gearhart was intentionally walked.

Braylen Knable blasted a shot that looked like it would be a home run or at least extra bases but was snagged by a great catch by Cole Knable.

With one out, Baird singled up the middle to put runners on first and second.

Bryce Danish followed with a single past first base, loading the bases.

Bodtorf, who was getting ready to throw his 100th pitch, struck out Tyler Renninger to end his night at 104 pitches thrown.

With two out, Vince Lear came to the plate. After already blasting a 2-run home run early and notching a single and three RBIs, it looked as though he would innocently bounce out to the left side of the infield but on the throw, the umpire called Lear safe, saying that the Mifflin County first baseman pulled his foot, sealing the victory to the Trojans and giving them the victory.

After a long discussion by the umpires, the play was upheld, sending Mount Union on to States and giving them the division title despite Mifflin County’s epic comeback attempt.

In the second, Mount Union got on the board first.

Renninger took a walk and setting the stage for Lear. Lear took a monstrous cut at the ball and sent it up in the trees in left, giving the Trojans the early 2-0 advantage.

However, Mifflin County center fielder Cole Knable ended the Mount Union momentum as he robbed Cole Walter of extra bases on a diving grab.

Mifflin County was scattering hits getting a first inning hit by Bryce Dobson and a Cole Knable in the third.

Things started coming around for MC in the fourth as they posted two hits but were not able to plate any.

Still leading 2-0, Mount Union added another run to up its lead to 2-0.

Danish singled to right to start off the inning and moved to third on a miscue by Mifflin County.

Lear brought in Danish to give his team the lead going into the late innings.

But like they have all season, Mifflin County would battle back in the fifth to cut the Mount Union lead to 3-2.

With one out, Bodtorf helped his own cause reaching on a walk.

He scored his team’s first run on a blast to left by Dobson which resulted in an RBI double.

A sacrifice fly by Jaxson Pupo, put Dobson in scoring position for Ethan Eichhorn.

Eichhorn responded with an RBI of his own, sizzling a single into left.

Mifflin County refused to let this game slip away as they were able to tie things in the top of the seventh.

Knable hit a seeing-eye double to center where neither outfielder was able to touch it.

Bodtorf singled to put runners on the corners.

Dobson tied the game at three with a sacrifice fly sending the game into extras.

Despite the loss, Mifflin County will play this weekend at a regional tournament in Holidaysburg for a chance to punch their tickets to states.

With the win, Mount Union will be moving regardless if they compete in the tournament or not.

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