LAURELTON – Although the team hasn’t been together very long, Milton’s 9-10-11 All-Stars really made a statement in their opening game of the District 13 Tournament on Sunday.
Highlighted by a no-hitter thrown by Aaron Haines, Milton scored seven runs in the second inning to roll to a 10-0, four-inning victory over Mifflinburg at the West End Field of Dreams.
Not too shabby for a squad still coming into its own.
Milton will now face the winner of Sunday’s third game between Shikellamy-Acorn and Danville at 8 p.m. Tuesday. In Sunday’s first game, Juniata beat Snyder County 17-4 in four innings.
“The (win) was fun, it was real fun. It’s been a work (in progress), and for the boys to come out and play like this was amazing,” said Milton manager Amos Leon. “Coming into the tournament nobody knew what to expect. We pretty much got this team together a week and a half ago, so I’m happy and the kids are happy.
“They’ve worked hard, and it showed today,” added Milton’s manager.
The victors got well on their way to the win after opening the game with two runs in the first.
Ty Locke led off with a walk and Brady Wolfe hit a one-out infield single, which moved Locke to third. Moments later, Locke scored on a wild pitch. Wolfe, who moved up to third on the errant pitch, followed Locke by scoring on another wild pitch.
In the second inning, Milton’s confidence grew as the team scored seven runs on only two hits – mainly by taking advantage of some Mifflinburg’s miscues and by playing a little small ball.
Adam Kerstetter hit an RBI single to center, plus Locke and Wolfe both brought runs home on fielder’s choices. The other four runs scored on a combination of wild pitches and errors, as well as with help from a double by Haines.
“Small ball is the thing. People have gotten away from small ball, but you just can’t do that in this day and age,” said Leon, whose team was held to just three hits on the day. “Hopefully we’ll come out (Tuesday) and hit a little bit better.
After Mifflinburg relief pitcher Reece Weikel got Milton out with no harm done in the third, Milton came back by scoring the winning run an inning later with nary a hit.
Brady Wolfe reached on a fielder’s choice, and after Delvin Arnold drew a walk both runners advanced on a passed ball. The winning run then scored as Wolfe came home on another passed ball.
Wolfe’s run completed Haines’ no-hitter. Milton’s hurler struck out 10, although he did give up two walks and a hit-batsman to Mifflinburg.
“You got Aaron Haines, who threw a no-hitter. I wasn’t expecting that, and he did a great job,” said manager Leon. “And look at Brady (Wolfe), my catcher, what did he have, one passed ball? You can’t ask for anything more than that at this age.”
Now Mifflinburg will try to regroup prior to playing in an elimination bracket game against the Shik/Acorn-Danville loser at 5:30 p.m., Thursday.
“Yes, it was (a tough game), but we got another one coming up so we’ll see how that one goes,” said Mifflinburg manager Wes Thomas. “For a lot of the boys it was their first time (playing 9-10-11s), and for a couple of them it is their second year, so there’s a learning curve and it’s a good learning experience for them.
“We’re going back to practice (today)and work on some things we just saw today, and try to improve from there,” added Mifflinburg’s manager.
District 13 9-10-11
At West End Field of Dreams
Miff. 000 0 – 0-0-3
Milton 270 1 – 10-3-0
Jaiden Beiler, Reece Weikel (3) and Clay Brininger. Aaron Haines and Brady Wolfe.
WP: Haines. LP: Beiler.
Mifflinburg hitters: Dylan Parrish, walk; David Shoemaker, walk; Ryan Swank, hit by pitch.
Milton hitters: Ty Locke, walk, RBI, run scored; Parker Hamilton, walk; Haines, double, walk, run; Wolfe, single, 3 runs, RBI; Delvin Arnold, 2 walks, run; Owen Woolsey, walk, run; Hudson King, walk, run; Adam Kerstetter, single, RBI, run; Carter Robinson, hit by pitch, run.