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MC 15s battle tough but falls late, finishes as Mid-Atlantic Runner ups

By Kenny Varner

ALTOONA – They went down battling !!

Playing in a winner-take-all Babe Ruth 15-year old Mid-Atlantic  championship game, the Mifflin County offense rallied in the seventh to cut the contest to a one-run deficit.

However, trailing 2-1 late, the Boys in Blue weren’t able to get the second run across despite a runner on third, as they fell to Hamilton/ North Burlington in a nail biter, 2-1.

Playing with pride and a “Never-Say-Die” attitude was just one of the special attributes this class of 15-year-old showed to everyone, including their coach Josh Snook.

“Not only in this game did they refuse to give up this whole game but it’s been something it’s been the story through states and regionals,” said coach Josh Snook. “They are a super group of kids. Great ball players. I couldn’t ask for better group of players. I couldn’t ask for better group of coaches. “

Going into the top of the seventh, MIfflin County trailed 2-0.

Aidan Arnold was clutch under pressure walking on four straight pitches.

Logan Alexander caught Hamilton off guard pushing a bunt single down third base way and hustling it out, putting runners on first and third.

Brett Zook came up and battled Hamilton pitcher Ryan Anderson through three balls and seven fouls before bouncing a ball into the infield, scoring Arnold on the fielders choice. On the play Alexander moved up to third.

But Hamilton went to its bullpen where reliever AJ Maddaleno was able to cut the potential rally and clinching the win for his team.

Mifflin County finished with five hits.

Alexander and teammate Hayden Yoder both led the way with two hits.

Others notching hits  for MC was Jake Rees. He doubled in the third.

It was a defensive contest throughout.

Mifflin County gave up the only two runs Hamilton would score in the third inning.

With two outs, Jayden Jennings kept the inning alive as he singled his second hit back up the middle.

Jake Iveris single a shot into left field, putting runners on first and second.

Adrian Byra loaded the bases as he blasted a opposite field boiler into shallow right.

Anderson helped his own cause as he picked up the team’s first run with an RBI walk.

Josh Kiena followed with an RBI single, ending the scoring for Hamilton.

Mifflin County pitcher Cole Keister pitched a strong game, scattering eight hits and allowed only two runs.

Anderson got the win for Hamilton while Maddaleno got the save.

But the class and poise of the MIfflin County team was evident throughout and despite not winning the championship, they showed what it meant to play with heart and determination which will end up being their defining legacy. The team battled with the heart of a champion!

“This is a big accomplishment for them. I am super proud of them. They made it a lot further than they did last year. Last year they really had some tough breaks. They deserve to catch a break here and I believe they did. They made up for it,” said Snook. “They beat a team they couldn’t beat before. They had trouble beating Altoona. They came back in the semi-final and beat them 6-1. We are really proud of this group of kids and couldn’t be more happy for them.”

The end result was a admirable Mid-Atlantic Runner up finish!

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