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Babe Ruth league set to begin season

BURNHAM — The Mifflin County Babe Ruth League will open its 66th season on July 1 as eight teams set to battle for the 2020 title.

Due to COVID-19, the league will play just 14 games, with the winner of the regular season being crowned the champion. From Aug. 4 through6, the league will hold the Bob Reigle Memorial tournament. It will be single elimination.

This will be the fewest amount of games played in the regular season since 1976, when the league played just 14. In 1977, the league expanded to a 21-game schedule.

For the first time since the early 1960s, Reedsville will not field a team–Milroy and Reedsville will combine to form one team for the 2020 season.

Reedsville was one of the original teams when the league was started in 1955, but failed to field a team for two years in the early 1960s. Milroy joined the league in 1958 (taking the place of Mifflintown) and has fielded a team ever since.

Milroy has the third longest streak as McVeytown and Belleville have put teams on the field since the league was started.

The opening day schedule has Lewistown traveling to Beaver Springs. McVeytown will be on the road at Burnham, the defending league champion, while Belltown travels to Strodes Mills (Rec Park). All of those games are at 6 p.m.

Belleville will be under the lights at Milroy, at 7 p.m., to close out the opening game schedule.

Five of the teams will have veteran managers returning. Mike Souders (22-12) enters his third year at Burnham, while Brad Wagner (15-31) will start his third season at Lewistown.

Reedsville’s Josh Edwards (14-10) will manage Milroy. This will be Edwards’ second year as a manager in the league.

In McVeytown, Justin Yoder enters his ninth year. The veteran coach has a 105-104 mark in McVeytown and his overall record (Mifflin County All-Stars) is 135-111.

Bill Corbin, the longtime manager in Belleville is back for his 38th year. Corbin not only has the most wins in the Mifflin County league, he also has the most victories in Pennsylvania Babe Ruth history.

Corbin is 611-342 for the Big Valley club and his overall record is 707-383.

After the first game Belleville plays, Corbin will set another record for managing and coaching in six different decades. Corbin started his career in Belleville in 1979 as an assistant coach. Reedsville’s Scott Reigle and Yeagertown’s Fred Zook were tied with Corbin going into the 2020 season. Reigle retired after the 2019 season and Zook died in 2015.

The three new managers are Belltown’s John Pannizzo, Mike Wolfley in Beaver Springs and Jason Hunter in Strodes Mills. Belltown’s Andy Arnold (13-34 and 17-39 overall) is now an assistant coach at Beaver Springs. Wolfley replaces Ryan Swineford (37-33) at the Springs. Hunter steps in for the late Rod Henry II, who had a 22-24 record at Strodes Mills and was 28-28 overall.

The last game of the season is set for July 30, but it will not be latest date that Mifflin County has played a regular season game. On Sept. 2, 1971, Reedsville beat Belleville 6-2 in Belleville to clinch the 1971 championship.

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