Babe Ruth 2013: The season in review

From the rain and cold of early spring to the summer time heat, 10 teams from the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League seem to be playing everyday in April, May and June. Here is a rundown of the teams that have just completed the 2013 season.

BEAVER SPRINGS (9-17) – This marked the first time that the Springs has had a losing record since joining the league in 2009. Five of those losses were by a run (Milroy, Burnham, Yeagertown and Strodes Mills twice). Ten runs the other way and the Springs would have been 14-12.

BELLEVILLE (11-16) – The boys from Big Valley got off to a good start as they were 5-3 and in third place on May 8. But from that point on Belleville dropped 13 of its next 19. One big win came on May 29 in an 8-3 win over Yeagertown. There were nights when Belleville played like a contender, but there were other days when the defense had trouble making routine plays. Belleville finished the season on a four game losing streak.

BELLTOWN (15-12) – Everytime you turned around at the start of the season, it seemed like Belltown was in an extra-innings game. During the first seven games, Belltown fell to Milroy 5-4 in eight innings, beat Reedsville 8-7 in nine and lost to Strodes Mills 10-9 in 10. Belltown finished on a winning note with five straight victories and it marked the team’s first winning season since 2008.

BURNHAM (3-24) – It was a long season for one of the most storied franchises in league history. From 1990 to 2000, Burnham won six league titles and had a record of 210-69. The highlight this season for Burnham came early on April 23, in it’s third game of the year. Yeagertown, one of the league favorites, was playing its opener and was stunned 7-4. Included in the 24 losses were five by forfeit.

LEWISTOWN (25-1) – The only blemish on the Lewistown record came in the middle of the season when it lost an extra-innings game to second place Yeagertown, 10-9 in eight innings. That loss sepearated the West from another undefeated season as it had winning streaks of 12 and 13 games. Lewistown scored in double figures 19 times, while it held teams to under 10 runs 20 times. Good teams always find ways to win and the West was in trouble late in games with Belleville, McVeytown and Reedsville twice and pulled out victories.

McVEYTOWN (5-22) – If the McVeytown coaching staff could have one inning back it would come on the night of April 25 against Lewistown. McVeytown held a lead 10-5 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. The West rallied for a 14-10 win and instead of McVeytown having a 2-1 record, it was 1-2 and then went on an 11 game losing streak. McVeytown did have a few bright moments with a game winning three run homer over Belleville on the road and during the last weekend of the season it put a damper on Milroy’s drive for third place with a 15-5 victory.

MILROY (15-12) – What a year for Milroy. After a 9-1 loss to Beaver Springs on June 8, Milroy had an 8-9 record and was in sixth place. But, then the boys from Armagh Township went on a big-time run. It won seven games in a row including two doubleheader sweeps of Reedsville and Burnham. And on June 21, it had a 15-9 mark and was in third place. Included in the last week of the season was a 12-3 win over second place Yeagertown.

But, in the end, Milroy had too many games over the last seven days of the season (seven) and the heat of early summer and a pitching staff that was tired and thin sent Milroy into a tie for fourth place.

REEDSVILLE (14-13) – If the league gave out coach of the year awards, it would go to the Reedsville staff. With only one 15-year-old on the team, the youngest team in the league won 14 games and had a winning season.

How impressive was the 10th win? It came on June 16 in a 13-5 win over Strodes Mills. The win kept alive a streak of 37 years in a row that Reedsville has at least won 10 games.

Many people thought Reedsville not only wouldn’t win 10 games, but would finish last. The finish turned out to be sixth and Reedsville’s red uniforms matched a lot of people’s faces.

STRODES MILLS (16-11) – If Reedsville was the overachieving team in the league, the surprise team was Strodes Mills. The Mills boys finished third, marking their highest finish since 2001. Strodes Mills got off to a shaky start as it was 1-4 after five games and the fourth loss was a heart breaking 4-3 defeat in eight innings to Milroy. But, from that point on Strodes Mills won 15 of its next 22 games. It all came together on the night of May 27 as Strodes Mills beat second-place Yeagertown, 13-3. Even the foul balls Strodes Mills hit that night were hard.

YEAGERTOWN (21-6) – Yeagertown did not disappoint. It was supposed to be one of the top two teams in the league and after a tough loss to Burnham in its opener it won 11 of its next 12 games. The big win occured on May 20 as it went into Rec Park and gave Lewistown its only loss of the year, in a thrilling 10-9 win in eight innings. In its last 14 games, it came out a winner 10 times. Yeagertown finished four and half games behind Lewistown, but five ahead of third palce Strodes Mills.