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Philipsburg knocks off undefeated Mifflin County to stay alive at Region 7
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
SOMERSET - Teams participating in the Region 7 American Legion tournament in Somerset have found that solving the riddle that is Mifflin County is difficult.
For Philipsburg's Tanner Perow, defeating his Central Penn League nemesis has become just another day at the office.
After pitching six strong innings in a 1-0 win over Mifflin County in the CPL playoffs, Perow was at it again on Tuesday when he handed Mifflin County its first defeat of the tournament, 10-5.
Mifflin County, which defeated Unity 9-2 in the winner's bracket final earlier in the day, entered the contest with a guaranteed spot in this afternoon's championship game.
With the win, the Phils remained alive, but they have to get through Latrobe before they get to face their league rivals with a trip to next week's state tournament on the line.
"My confidence went up a lot after (beating them in the league playoffs)," said Perow. "I felt good coming into this game since I already beat them once.
"I was a little nervous at the beginning, but I knew all I had to do was pound the strike zone and that my defense was behind me."
Unlike the first meeting, Mifflin County was able to push some runs across against Perow, who kept the damage to a minimum, as it answered the Phils' run with three of their own in the second.
Aside from the frame where they had three of their nine hits against Perow, Mifflin County was only able to muster two more unearned runs against the Philipsburg starter, who pitched eight more solid innings.
Mifflin County only had multiple hits in two of Perow's innings, as the Philipsburg righty limited the top three Mifflin County hitters to a 2-for-13 day at the plate.
"He mainly throws strikes," said Mifflin County manager Larry Wolfe. "Against him in a 9-inning game, if we score six or seven runs we'd be very, very fortunate. He pitched well. He threw strikes and he had a little curveball that kept people off-balance, and he kept the top of our lineup off the bases.
"When we get them on, we can run and we can do some things. He just didn't walk anyone, and that makes a big difference."
Perow was unfazed because of his team's ability to capitalize on four Mifflin County pitchers' mistakes.
The Phils smacked 15 hits in the contest, including six doubles, as they remained alive for the tournament title, despite losing their opening contest.
"If we don't win another one, we're pretty happy with how we're playing," Philipsburg manager Jim Rice said. "I don't know how many extra base hits we had, but they all contributed. We played well defensively, and Perow came out and he sucked it up. It was a total team effort - from my catcher to my last outfielder."
Philipsburg took a 5-3 lead after a 2-run double from Parker Watson in the fifth, while Dave Ormsby, who was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, plated him with a double of his own two hitters later.
Mifflin County plated an unearned run in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Phils went ahead for good in the seventh.
Philipsburg sent eight hitters to the plate and got RBIs from Ormsby and Nate Kerlin before Wyatt Belinda smacked a 2-run double to make it a 9-5 contest.
Ormsby drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth to plate Aaron Lidgett.
"You can never have enough runs in this tournament," said Rice.
"They're a tough team and this was their first loss. It was a close ballgame there for awhile, and then we broke it open. We just kept digging at them.
"I never pray for a victory. When I sit down and pray, I just pray that we play hard and that's all you can ask. I told them before the game, I said, ‘guys, I want to go down with both barrels smoking. We want to leave everything out there on the field,' and that's the way it was."
Ormsby and Belinda, who doubled twice, ended the game with three hits each, while Kerlin, Watson and Luther Harlow each ripped two.
"We got behind in the count and threw fat fastballs, and they hit them," said Wolfe. "You have to give them credit - they hit the ball better than we did today."
The Phils' contest with Latrobe will get started at 12:30 p.m. with the championship game slated to start a half-hour after its completion.
"It was our goal at the beginning of the season to go to regionals," Perow said, "and we want to get to states. It would be awesome ... I'd love to do it."

Philipsburg-10
W. Belinda 2b 5032, J. Belinda ss 4110, Speigle dh-1b 5000, Perow p 0000, Lidgett rf-cf 3210, Watson cf-p 5222, Harlow 1b-3b 5220, Ormsby lf 4133, Kerlin 3b-rf 5222, Singer c 4011. Totals: 40-10-15-10.
Mifflin County-5
Treaster c 5010, Strohecker 3b-2b 5110, McKay ss 3000, Snook p-3b 5010, Hidlay 2b-lf 4210, Hannon 1b-p 4120, Larson rf 3132, Swineford lf-p 1000, Harshbarger p 1000, Michaels cf 3001. Totals: 34-5-9-3.
Score by Innings
Philipsburg     010 130 410-10 15 5
Mifflin County 030 011 000-5  9 1
Errors-Perow 2, Watson, Ormsby, J. Belinda; McKay. LOB-Philipsburg 13, Mifflin County 8. DP-Mifflin County 2. 2B-W. Belinda 2, Watson, Ormsby, Kerlin, Singer; Treaster, Strohecker. SAC-Swineford 2, Michaels. SF-Ormsby. SB-J. Belinda, Speigle, Ormsby; Hidlay. HBP-J. Belinda (by Swineford); Larson (by Perow). WP-Harshbarger 1, Hannon 1. PB-Treaster.
Pitching
Philipsburg: Perow-8 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO; Watson-1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
Mifflin County: Snook-5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO; Swineford-2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO; Harshbarger-1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO; Hannon-2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.
WP-Perow. LP-Swineford.
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