NEW BERLIN — Mifflinburg’s Ethan Shoemaker had the perfect approach at the plate in Monday’s District 13 Little League Junior Division baseball elimination bracket final at New Berlin Recreation Park.
“I just had to stay back, find my pitch and drive it,” Shoemaker said.
Shoemaker had three hits and knocked in four runs, while Mifflinburg took advantage of 14 walks issued by Danville pitchers to pick up an 11-1 win in five innings.
“We are certainly up there to hit, but we aren’t going to force things,” Mifflinburg manager Glenn Miller said. “Friday night we walked a lot, but we still didn’t get many hits. We scored 10 in that game, but I think we got walked 17 times.
“Tonight, we made it hurt.”
Mifflinburg gets another shot at the team that put them in the elimination bracket. They play Selinsgrove at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday and must beat Selinsgrove twice to claim the District 13 championship. The if necessary game would be at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Selinsgrove beat Mifflinburg, 3-1, on July 1.
Battling back through the elimination bracket put a lot of pressure on Mifflinburg’s pitching staff. Miller felt he had to piece together the game, and get some different kids to pitch.
“We had three kids pitch that haven’t pitched a lot for us, and they did well,” Miller said. “A lot of that it just the nature of the postseason, you have to give them the opportunity and they took advantage of it.
“We needed that. Wednesday will be our fifth game in the tournament and it will Selinsgrove’s second, our staff needed the break.”
Mifflinburg scored two in the top of the first when Jarrett Miller walked, took second and third on wild pitches, and then scored on Shoemaker’s double. Shoemaker advanced to third and later scored on wild pitches. MIfflinburg then loaded the bases, but didn’t score again.
Danville got a run back when Troy Jones doubled, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Bronson Kraniak’s sacrifice fly. Danville got runners to second and third with one out, but MIller got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
Lane Hook and Shoemaker then pitched in relief for Mifflinburg to shut down the Danville offense. Hook pitched three innings of one-hit relief to pick up the victory, striking out one and hitting a batter. Shoemaker allowed a single in his one inning of relief.
Gage Ritter scored on the back end of a double steal in the second for Mifflinburg to make the score 3-1.
In the third, Miller doubled home a run with two outs, before Shoemaker singled him home to give Mifflinburg a 5-1 advantage.
Mifflinburg then put the game out of reach with its fourth-inning explosion.
Nate Chambers had an RBI groundout and Hook scored on an error. Cyruss Scholvin added an RBI infield single. Shoemaker added a two-run double, before Zeb Hufnagle made it 11-1 with an RBI single.
DISTRICT 13 LITTLE LEAGUE
at New Berlin Recreation Park
ELIMINATION BRACKET FINAL
DANVILLE 1 (5 innings)
Danville`100`00 — 1-4-3
Jarrett Miller, Lane Hook (2), Ethan Shoemaker (6) and Shoemaker, Miller (2). Conner Kipple, Colton McNeal (2), Weston Whapham (4) and Troy James.
WP: Hook; LP: Kipple.
Mifflinburg: Miller 1-for-2, double, 2 runs, RBI; Shoemaker 3-for-3, 2 doubles, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Zeb Hufnagle 1-for-4, RBI; Hook 4 walks, run.
Danville: James 1-for-2, double, run; Bronson Kraniak 1-for-2, RBI.