MILROY - Pitching is always the key ingredient when it comes to winning baseball games and for the Mifflin County Babe Ruth 14-year-old All-Stars, it will be at the center of the storm.
Mifflin County opens up District 7 play at 5 p.m today against Perry County. Altoona received a bye and will play the winner of the Mifflin County-Perry County game on Sunday.
The tournament is double elimination; the championship game is set for Wednesday and the "if-necessary" game would be played Thursday.
The winner of the tournament will advance to the state tournament in Wrightstown in Bucks County, which is being hosted by Tri-Township.
The manager of the 14-year-old team is Reedsville's Scott Reigle, assisted by two other Reedsville coaches: Kevin Reigle and Craig Bitner.
Two teams had three players make the 14-year-old Mifflin County All-Star team. League champion Lewistown had Damon Jasper, Kenny Cavanaugh and Trent Hidlay, while Reedsville had Cade Attick, Logan Peachey and Jake Spickler named to the all-star squad.
Yeagertown, Belleville, Strodes Mills and Belltown each had two players chosen to the Mifflin County team: Jordan Marshall and Ty Bodtorf, Yeagertown; Tyler Bedelyon and Isaac Maclay, Belleville; Jonah Kile and Nick Poche, Strodes Mills; and Austin Erb and Ross Underhill, Belltown.
Gage Boreman of Milroy rounds out the 15-man squad. First year all-stars are Peachey, Cavanaugh, Poche and Bedelyon.
Reigle is in his 16th year as a manager in Reedsville and he has an overall record (regular season and all-stars) of 351-173. Reigle's all-star record is 64-25 and in those wins are two state championships and seven district titles.
Both of Reigle's state championships came at the 15-year-old level, in 2002 and 2008. And both of those teams made it to the Mid-Atlantic Regional final four. In 2002, the Mifflin County team not only won the state title, but took the regional and was the first Mifflin County (13-15-year-old) team to go a Babe Ruth World Series, which was held in Connersville, Ind. Mifflin County finished sixth, the highest finish that a Mifflin County team has ever placed.
Reigle, who has been coaching since 1972 (42 years), is now on his 23rd Mifflin County All-Star coaching staff, a league record. He has managed in 524 games and has coached or managed in 1,211 games, which is also a league record.
Last year as 13-year-olds, Mifflin County finished in the state's final four (tied for third). Mifflin County was eliminated by Pottsville, the 2011 13-year-old state champion, 10-2, in the state's final four.
Mifflin County played Altoona twice last year, losing 12-1 and winning 12-8. The state 2011 tournament was played in Altoona.
"We have a pitching staff this year and we plan to use our pitchers in certain situations," said Kevin Reigle, one of the assistant coaches on the team, "We have our staff pretty well set."
Reigle also talked his team when it comes to bat, "I think we have some hitters. I'll be disappointed if we don't hit."
"It's always nice to be home," Reigle said, "Our kids will be in a routine that they will be familar with and that always helps."
Last year as 13-year-olds the team was on the road the entire tournament trail as the districts were in Gettysburg and the state tournament was in Altoona.