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Hartleys captures Minor title

By Kenny Varner
MAITLAND – The last regular season game of the 2017 Mifflin County Cal Ripken League is officially in the books.
With a Hartley Chips team that was going for a perfect 19-0 season went up against a young spunky Joe’s OIP team that just came off a nail biting 6-inning contest the night before, with the Minor League title at stake.
Both teams left everything they had on the field but Hartley’s had a little more fire power on this night as it went on to defeat Joe’s OIP 12-1 in four innings to capture the title and cap an undefeated season.
Hartleys had numerous big hitting performances as it pounded out 14 hits in the victory.
Reese Christine finished a perfect 3-for-3, scoring two runs and collecting two RBIs.
Teammate Carter Yohn also finished with three hits, two singles and a double, scoring twice and picking up an RBI.
Manny Espinoza had a hot bat as well, posting a 2-for-2 evening with three RBI and scored two runs.
“The teams been tough all year and we just closed out the season at 19-0,” said Hartleys’ coach Seth Atherton. “These guys have a lot of heart and put all on the line tonight and put it away in four innings and just like we expecting to.”
Joe’s OIP finished with five hits in the loss.
Leading the way was Trent Sietz who had the team’s only RBI in the contest via a sacrifice fly.
Picking up hits in the game for Joe’s were Cohen Spickler, Jack Porch, Ian Clark, Zane Grambley and Aidan Arnold.
“Overall it’s been a really good season. They started out a little slow but they started picking things up towards the end,” Joe’s manager Junior Porch said. “Last nights game was tight going into the sixth and I think they were just burned out being just 10-year old kids.”
Joe’s struck first in the bottom of the first.
With one out, Cohen Spickler singled into left to get things started.
Jack Porch followed with a single of his own, hustling out a slow roller in the infield.
Ian Clark loaded things up with an infield single of his own.
Sietz scored Spickler on a sacrifice fly, putting his team up 1-0.
Going into the bottom of the first, Hartleys struck back to knot the game at one.
Lead off hitter, Christine singled to center and then stole second, putting him in scoring position.
Carter Yohn roped a 2-out double to score Christine, tying it at one.
Max Weader got the nod on the mound for Hartleys to start and looked good in the first but even better in the second as he refused to allow another run and picked up three strike outs in the inning. He finished his two complete innings with four.
“Pitching wise, the last three games in the playoffs, we only gave up four runs,” Atherton said. ” Giving up just one run to a Joe’s OIP team is a fete in itself.”
The home team exploded for five runs in the bottom of the inning to give them its first lead of the game 6-1.
With one out, Blayden Hubler hustled out an infield single.
Manny Espinoza made Hubler’s time on base a short one as he doubled to deep right center, scoring Hubler on the play.
Sam Arnold reached on a single to put runners on the corners.
Christine cleared the bases, tripling to left, scoring Arnold and Espinoza.
Owen Atherton kept the rally going a he doubled in Christine.
A fielding miscue by Joe’s allowed the fifth run of the inning to score.
Things were cruising for Hartleys defense in the third as it refused to allow a run and in turn gave its steaming hot offense another chance for a 5-run inning.
And score they did, posting another five runs to take the commanding 11-1 lead going into the top of the fourth.
Hartley’s again stifled the Joe’s offensive attack and scored the last run of the game at 12-1.

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