During pool play of the Babe Ruth Pennsylvania State 13 Prep Championship, Altoona breezed to a 12-1 win over Mifflin County. The tournament playoffs proved to an entirely different story, however.
Mifflin County, which squeezed into the playoff field as the sixth and final seed, rebounded from its earlier loss to Altoona, knocking the host team out of the tournament with a 12-8 win Monday at Seitz Field.
Mifflin County scored six runs with two outs in the top of the fourth to take a 9-4 lead and held off Altoona the rest of the way.
"That inning killed us," Altoona coach Jim Kulik said. "Take away that inning, and we win. One bad inning is all it takes sometimes."
Altoona answered with four in its half of the fourth to pull within a run, but that's all the closer the club would get.
Mifflin County tacked on one in the sixth and two more in the seventh to secure the win.
Ty Bodtorf relieved Cade Attick to start the fifth and shutout Altoona the rest of the way. Bodtorf gave up just two hits while striking out five over the final three innings.
"He was lights out," Kulik said of Bodtorf. "He threw the ball really well, mixed up his pitches and kept our kids off-balance."
Bodtorf also led Mifflin County with three RBIs. He tripled home two runs in the fourth and singled home another in the seventh.
"Altoona beat us up pretty good two years in a row. I'm glad we don't have to see that team again," Mifflin County coach Fred Zook said. "Our two pitchers threw the ball really well, and we hit the ball real well. We hung in there and played together as a team."
Altoona grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Dakota Chamberlain scored on Bailey Davis' groundout.
After Mifflin County scored three in the second, Altoona reclaimed the lead with three runs of its own in the third. Cory Storm doubled home one run and Logan McGeary chased home two more with another double.
In the fourth, Mifflin County strung together four straight hits, three for extra bases, to take the lead for good.
"The first game we had no errors and didn't give up any walks. That wasn't the case this time around," Kublik said.
Altoona committed five errors and gave up four walks to go along with Mifflin County's 13 hits Monday.
Chamberlain and Alex Weaver led Altoona with two hits and two runs apiece. Davis knocked in three runs, and McGeary drove home two for the host squad.
Mifflin County advances to play Pottsville in the semis tonight at 8 p.m. Broomal/Newton and West End meet at 5 p.m. in the other semifinal matchup.
The winners of those two games play Wednesday at 5 p.m. for the state championship.
Score by Innings
Mifflin County030 601 2 12 13 2
Altoona103 400 0 8 10 5
2B-Marshall, Jasper (MC); Storm, McGeary, Weaver (A). 3B-Bodtorf (MC). Multiple hits-Hidlay 2, Bodtorf 2, Maclay 2, Jasper 2 (MC); Chamberlain 2, Weaver 2 (A). RBI-Bodtorf 3, Kile 2, Hidlay, Marshall, Maclay, Jasper, Rodkey (MC); Davis 2, McGeary 2, Storm (A). WP-Attick. LP-Davis. SO-Attick 2, Bodtorf 5 (MC); Davis 2, Eberhart 5 (A); BB-Attick 3, Bodtorf 2 (MC); Davis 1, Eberhart 3 (A).