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What a run! Mifflin County Legion finishes up season falling in extras

By BRIAN CARSON

LEWISTOWN – It was a fitting ending, albeit not the one Mifflin County manager Bernie Howard wanted for his squad in the Region 7 American Legion baseball playoffs on Tuesday evening.

Milroy Post 287 battled their way to the regional finals, including a 7-6 victory in eight innings over Hempfield East on Monday.

Mifflin County fought off Central Penn League rival Beech Creek 2-1 in nine innings and turned around less than an hour later for a rematch with Hempfield in the finals. That game lasted 11 innings before Post 287 fell 8-7 in 11 innings.

That’s 20 innings of baseball in one day. A tremendous achievement for Mifflin County and a showcase to the squad’sfortitude and indefatigable will to win. It didn’t go unnoticed by Howard.

“Am amazing day of baseball, no doubt about it,” Howard told the Lewistown Sentinel. “They battled and just kept coming back and coming back. It was a dogfight, one of those games where you say it’s a shame that someone had to lose.”

Mifflin County ended the regular season with a 6-1 CPL record and despite having the better winning percentage; Beech Creek won the regularseason title, going 7-2. In the CPL playoffs, Milroy Post 287 defeated Huntingdon (11-5) and the Crickets (7-4) before losing 14-4 to Altoona.  

In the finals of the doubleelimination tournament, Mifflin County turned the tables with an 11-1 victory over Altoona earning a berth in the Region 7 Tournament.

Post 287 opened the regionals with an 8-1 loss to Bushy Run. They rebounded with four straight wins over Punxsutawney (9-1), Bedford (5-0), Hempfield East and Beech Creek before losing in the finals to Post 981.

The 2019 season was one of the most successful for Mifflin County in its 19-year history of legion ball.

Post 287 finished with a 20-6 record, won the CPL tournament for the second consecutive year and advanced to the regional finals for the fifth time in Post 287 history. The others were in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. The only regional championship for Mifflin County came in 2009 under Larry Wolfe.

The game marked the end of a long and fruitful 20-year partnership between Howard and assistant coach Chuck Curry. The duo coached together at Lewistown West in Babe Ruth, Mifflin County High School and Milroy Post 287.

Howard reflected on their last game together.

“Coach Curry and I are retiring,” he told the Sentinel. “We knew it would have to end on a loss, but this is one to remember for a long, long time. We are really proud of these guys.”

One Comment

  1. Ke Chi Chu

    July 25, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Bernie and Chuck are class acts and coach there players the same way! I will miss seeing them when they visit Beech Creek!
    Umpire Kooch Chu #22

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