LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County Babe Ruth League has announced its opening day schedule for the 2013 season.
The league will open its 2013 schedule on April 20, league president Gary Stimely said.
Five games will open the league's 59th season. Five-time defending league champion Lewistown West travels to Belltown. Other games include Belleville making the trip to Beaver Springs; Milroy goes to McVeytown; Reedsville is on the road at Yeagertown; and Burham hosts Strodes Mills.
Stimely also announced a coaching change - longtime Belltown manager Butch Bender has retired.
Replacing Bender will be Mike Hostetler. Hostetler is a two-time all star who played for Reedsville (1985-1987) and was on the 1987 14-15-year-old all-star team that won a state title. Hostetler was alos a member of the 1990 Indian Valley team that finished second in the state in Class AAA, which at the time was the largest classification.
Bender coached 15 years at Burnham and Belltown. He managed Burnham from 1982 to 1986 and Belltown from 2003 to 2012. He had a regular season record of 163-224 and won a league title at Burnham in 1984 when his team had an overall mark of 24-5.
As a Mifflin County all-star manager he had a 17-3 record including a state championship with the 15-year-olds in 2009. It was also in that year his team ran off a 14-game winning streak, the longest in Mifflin County history, as it lost only one game - and that occured in the Mid-Atlantic regional.
As an assistant all-star coach, he was on three other state championship teams, 1987 (13-year-olds), 2003 (14-year-olds) and 2007 (15-year-olds). He also was an assistant coach in 2004 when the Mifflin County 15-year-olds won the Mid-Atlantic Regional and went to the World Series in Longview, Wash.
Bender's overall record was 180-227 and he is currently ranked seventh overall in Mifflin County victories. He coached or managed in 500 games.
He became a member of the Pennsylvania Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in 2010.
All the other managers are returning in 2013: Bill Corbin, Belleville, 31 years; Fred Zook, Yeagertown, 26 years; Scott Reigle, Reedsville, 16 years; Bernie Howard, Lewistown, 14 years; Scott Wright, Beaver Springs, eight years; Ted Rhoades, Milroy, six years; Butch Larson, Strodes Mills, four years; Tom Heller, Burnham, four years; and Justin Yoder, McVeytown, two years.
The league also announced its league officers for the 2013 season. Stimely, of McVeytown, will be returning for his 29th year as league president.
Named vice-president was Charlie Connahan of Beaver Springs, who will be starting his third year in that position.
The league secretary is Bernie Howard of Lewistown. This will be Howard's 11th year as secretary.
Named the league's treasurer was Bill Corbin of Belleville, who has held that position since 2004 (10 years).