GETTYSBURG - For the second time in the District 7 Babe Ruth tournament for 14-year-olds, rain has put a damper on the proceedings.
Friday's championship game between Mifflin County and Upper Adams has been moved to 1 p.m. today.
The winner of the game will not only claim the district championship, but also a spot in the upcoming state playoffs in Leighton, which gets underway on July 22.
Here's some other news and notes from the tournament trail on a rainy Friday afternoon.
This is not the first time that Bernie Howard and his coaching staff have been faced with an early tournament loss in district play and bounced back. In 2006, Mifflin County loss its second game of the tournament to Gettysburg, 4-3 and then won three in a row to take the district title. The last two wins came against Gettysburg.
Other Mifflin County teams that have lost early in district play and then went on to have big time finishes were, 1979, 14-15s, fourth in state; 1980, 14-15s, second; 1977, 13-year-olds, second; 1991, 13-year-olds, second; 1994, 13-year-olds, second and 1999, 13-year-olds, second. The 1977, 1994 and 1999 teams each lost their first game and came back to finish second in the state.
In the 13-year-old state tournament, Mifflin County will play the District 6 champions, ChiChester in a pool play game. This will mark the 110th different opponent that Mifflin County has played since the league was formed in 1955. The breakdown: Pennsylvania, 86 different leagues; Regions or state (Southern New Jersey, Nebraska, ETC), 18; Mid-Atlantic hosts, four and World Series hosts, two.
The 15s' coaching combination of Fred Zook and Butch Bender have been together for some very famous Mifflin County All-Star runs. Included in those is a state championship in 2003 for the 14-year-olds, a state title and Mid-Atlantic Regional runner-up; For the 15s in 2004, a Mid-Atlantic championship and tie for seventh place at the World Series in Longview, Wash. In 2005, a tie for third place in Pennsylvania with the 13s; In 2007, a state title for the 15s and in 2008, a tie for third in Pennsylvania with the 14s.
In all those season, Zook was the manager and Bender was the top assistant. This year, however, Bender is the manager and Zook is the top assistant.
The Mifflin County 13-year-olds have extended the second-longest winning streak at the Armagh Memorial Field. The three most recent wins have extended the streak to 20 games. The last loss was in 2006 in the state final in the 13s bracket to Newtown, Council Rock. The longest streak was a 24-games stretch from 2004-2006. The streak was stopped by Gettysburg, 4-3 in a 14s district game. Mifflin County also had a 17-game winning streak from 1999-2002, which was stopped by State College, 6-5, in a 14s state tournament game.
The Kody Smeltz, Trevor Peachey, Dan Sutton 17-0 shutout over Gettysburg was the 91st shutout in league history. The last three-pitcher shutout was on July 6, 2003 by Matt Gregg, Josh Yoder and Chris Tressler against Gettysburg, by the same 17-0 margin.
The current 15-year-olds, have a record of 22-4 and are tied for fourth place in wins going into the state tournament. The class of 2004 had the most wins in league history with a 29-8 record. Mifflin County's overall record is now 529-227. Mifflin County has a solid record at each of the venues at which its teams will play. At Milroy the teams are 210-42; at Gettysburg 83-21 and at Phoenixville 17-12.
Ray Wilde is a Sentinel correspondent.