By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- Part of the final result between Midd-West and Mifflinburg was the play on the field, and part was debunking the myth about the third time being a charm.
The Mustangs had beaten the Wildcats in their previous two meetings this season en route to the second seed in the district playoffs, while the Wildcats won their way to the No. 3 seed.
Mifflinburg was looking to turn the tables and show that the only meeting that truly matters is the last, with the season and district championship hopes on the line.
Mustangs senior right-hander Austin Hockenbroch had other ideas.
Hockenbroch outdueled fellow righty Andrew Leitzel as the Mustangs held on for a 2-1 victory in the District 4 Class AAA semifinals at Bowman Field in Williamsport.
"We knew coming in it was going to be tough," Mustangs coach Ron Flood said. "I give that Leitzel kid a lot of credit; he pitched a good ballgame. I was pleased with my kids. I thought Hockenbroch threw an excellent ballgame."
In a tight game one play often proves the difference, and, in this case, it was Luke Zimmerman coming through with a two-out single for the Mustangs to break a scoreless tie. The Mustangs loaded the bases for Zimmerman and he laced a single past Mifflinburg's Dillan Weikel at third.
"We played great defense," Wildcats coach Tom Church said. "We just gave up two runs early and we couldn't get them back. That's baseball."
In the top of the fourth, the Wildcats came out swinging after falling behind. Three straight singles to start the inning quickly swung the momentum in their favor, and Brady Lloyd scored on a single by Oakley Whitesel. With Zach Aurand prepared to bunt to move the runners, Hockenbroch induced a short pop-up to himself and threw to second for a double play. Whitesel was later caught stealing to end the inning.