---- — By The Daily Item
The bats were clicking for Post 71 as Milton tried to prevent a Jersey Shore rally to keep its season alive in the Region V American Legion tournament.
Jersey Shore pulled out the win in 10 innings ending the chance for Milton to repeat as the Region V champion. Milton had a strong season in Legion play and many of the players that helped make the run possible did not go unnoticed as six players from Post 71 were named to the West Branch postseason all-star team.
Cody Shaffer unofficially tossed 172 pitches over the first nine innings of an 11-inning West Branch playoff win over Lewisburg. Each pitch was caught and returned by Brady Chappell as Milton battled into the fading daylight in a game that would be resumed and won by Milton the following day. The win was key in helping Milton stay in the winner's bracket and both ends of the Milton battery were named to the team.
Other players who had a key role in Milton's victory that day were also recognized as Michael Jacobs, who dove to snare a fast-falling ball early in the game to prevent a rally was selected as was Daniel Bridge, who drove a pitch to right field to give Milton its runs through the first nine innings. Damian Moyer and Taylor Porter rounded out the selections for Milton.
Jersey Shore grabbed the top seed in the West Branch playoffs and five players from Todd Rishel's squad were selected to the all-star roster. Chris Glunk, Travis Eiswerth, Chris Rishel, Colton Potter and Boone Costa represented the West Branch Division's top regular-season team.
Oakley Whitesel and Andrew Leitzel anchored Mifflinburg's rotation during the high school season and continued their level of play into the Legion schedule en route to being named to the all-star team. After the Susquehanna Valley League All-Star Game, Whitesel was honored as the West Branch MVP. During the high school season, getting a free pass from Leitzel was nearly impossible. Over 66 innings of work, Leitzel walked six batters while finishing with a 1.75 earned run average.
Chappell's counterpart at Lewisburg, Jake Girton, was one of four Lewisburg players named to the team. Girton showed an ability to contribute on both ends of the pitching battery working primarily behind the plate but toeing the mound when needed. Three members of Lewisburg's high school team who continued into Legion play were also selected as Mike Fisher, Joey Gardner and Luke Smith received the nod. Fisher torched area pitching to the tune of a .419 clip at the plate during the high school season.
Watsontown had four recipients on the roster with Tyler Rivers, Hunter Raup, Jarred Bender and Kenny Koch each getting the honor. Montgomery's Garret Shnyder, Thomas Goetz and Marcus Bartlett as well Hughesville's Brett Reitz and Tyler Mitchetree were named.