LEWSISTOWN - Many people have compared the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League schedule to running of a marathon.
A marathon is just over 26 miles, while the Babe Ruth schedule is 27 games.
On Saturday, Belleville broke the tape with a 5-0 win over Lewistown.
Belleville finished with a 23-4 record, while Reedsville was second with a 22-5 mark.
The one game victory came over its rival of 58 years (Reedsville didn't field a team for two years in the sixities) and the clinching win came at Rec Park against the West, which had won the last six titles in a row.
For Belleville it marked the 16th league title (15.5 as it tied for the champiosip with McVeytown in 1960). That is tops in the 60 year history of the league.
Bill Corbin, Belleville's manager, won his sxith title as he helped guide Belleville to league championships in 1987, 1988, 1992, 2001 and 2006. Corbin is now tied for second with Burnham's Dave Wolfkill with six. The all-time leader is Lewistown's Bernie Howard with eight.
"We asked the players at the beginning of the season how they wanted to win and they said with offense," Corbin said, "We (the coaching staff) said you win with pitching and defense. I think on Saturday we had an outstanding game with our pitching and defense."
Usually, the Belleville bats would score enough runs for a victory as the Big Valley boys scored 10 or more runs in 14 (of the 27) games. It also had strong pitching as it tossed five shutouts.
On Saturday, it was Isaac Maclay and Garrette Fultz combining for the whitewash.
Maclay went the first four innings as he allowed one hit, struck out five and walked three.
Fultz finished off the title clinching game with three shutout innings. He struck out four, walked no one and gave up three hits.
Belleville's first run came from one of its thumpers, Kyle Peachey. The 14-year-old led off the second with a triple and Jared King knocked him home with a ground out.
In the fourth, Belleville made it 3-0. Eddie Hamman drew a walk, Peachey singled and Jake Yoder scored Hamman with a single. Another ground out by King and Peachey scored.
Belleville finished off its scoring in the fifth as Tyler Bedelyon walked, stole second and scored on a Maclay single. Hamman followed with a base hit and Peachey drew a walk to load the bases.
Yoder then put down a squeeze bunt to cap off the scoring.
Joey Taptich, Belleville's shortstop, had the play of day defensively for Belleville as he saved a base hit by Josh Nichols with a diving catch in the third inning.
Lewistown had four hits with Trent Hidlay getting two.
"The first two games with Lewistown were not like this one," Corbin noted, "They were slugfests (15-5 and 23-13). I thought the two Lewistown pitchers (Josh Nichols and Trent Hidlay) did a good job."
"Our chemistary in the dugout was really good this year," Corbin stated, "But it had to be as we didn't have a lot of depth. The key to our success was the depth of our pitching staff. We got innings from eigth of the nine starters. With all these rainouts, that proved to be the difference. When the season starts, you just never know what you will get."
This year Corbin got a championship team.
Lewistown 16, Burnham 0
LEWISTOWN - Burnham has been a thorn in the side of Lewistown all year. Burnham had beaten Lewistown twice 12-10 and 8-6 earlier in the year. And the 12-10 win snapped a 40-game losing streak to the West, which was a league record.
On Saturday Lewistown got some revenge with a 16-0 win. The game ended after five innings due ot the 10-run rule.
The West had nine players get hits as Burnham used five different pitchers and no one could stop the Lewistown hits.
Kenny Cavanaugh, Hunter Amrhein, Kross Todaro and Josh Nichols each had two hits for the West.
Damon Jasper had the only extra-base hit for Lewistown with a two-run triple in the third inning. Todaro had three RBIs.
Jasper got the win with three innings of work. He gave up just one hit, struck out three and walked three. Amrhein and Marcus Donahey closed out the shutout with two scoreless innings.
Burnham's only hit came in the second inning from Javian Kauffman, a single.
Trent Hidlay, the Lewistown catcher, threw out two runners in the second.
Strodes Mills 15,
Beaver Sorings 10
LEWISTOWN - In a battle for fifth place, Strodes Mills came out on top with a 15-10 win over Beaver Springs.
Strodes Mills closed out the season with a 14-12 record, while Beaver Springs was sixth with a 13-14 record.
Strodes Mills trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the second, but it erupted for 11 runs to take a commading 11-2 lead.
The Mills' boys sent 17 men to the plate in the second inning as the Springs walked five, committed two errors and had six hits.
Eric Shilling had two in hits in the second, but the big blast came from Austin Haubrick, who unloaded a bases-loaded double.
Nick Smith led the Strodes Mills offensive attack with three hits including two doubles. Tyler Rhodes, Shilling and Haubrick each had two hits. Haubrick had another RBI double in the fifth. He later scored on a passed ball making it 13-9.
Beaver Springs cut the Strodes Mills lead to 11-10 with two runs in the fifth inning as Tyler Martin connected on a two-run single.
Ashton Martin finished with three hits and had a two run single in the fourth when the Springs scored five times. Tyler Martin and Gavin Swineford, a 13-year-old, Trevor Bishop each had two hits for Beaver Springs.
Ethan Richards, a rookie, had a double and he also came up with the defensive play of the day as he threw a runner out from centerfield to home plate in the fourth inning.
NOTES: Belleville other championship years were 1960 (the tie), 1961-62, 1966-67, 1970, 1972, 1977 and 1981 and 1982......Corbin was a player on the 1972 team and an assistant coach on the 1981-82 teams.......There were a total of 15 doubleheaders with the only team not playing one was Yeagertown.......133 of 135 games were played.