If it didn't rain every day in April or May, it sure missed a good chance. The Mifflin County Babe Ruth League schedules 135 games and the league played 131. That is a credit to the coaches, managers, players and parents in the league.
Here is a look back at the 2011 season:
BEAVER SPRINGS (21-6) - The Springs were one of the favored teams to win the league in 2011, but four tough one-run losses to Lewistown, Milroy, Yeagertown and Belleville hurt its chances. Losing Shane Connahan for the part of the season due an injury also hurt. And the team just couldn't put together any string of wins in a row as its longest winning streak of the year was just four games. But for Scott Wright (the Beaver Springs manager), it was his second straight finish in the top three.
BELLEVILLE (15-12) - Belleville's manager, Bill Corbin, said before the year started. "I'm hoping for an above-average year. On some nights we could be very good or very bad." The veteran maanger was right on. Belleville knocked off Beaver Springs and just missed beating the Springs in 10 innings, lost to the West by two runs and fell to Yeagertown by a run. On the other hand, it lost to seventh-place Milroy 8-7. The one nice thing about Belleville this spring was watching John Michael Maclay, who was as steady as the spring rain.
BELLTOWN (1-26) - Ryan Combs, Belltown's 15-year-old catcher, was injured before the season and from that point on it went downhill. In Babe Ruth baseball, losing a catcher is very big and when he is one of your best players, it's even more devastating. The highlight of the season for Belltown and its manager Butch Bender came on May 30 when Belltown beat Milroy on the road by a 16-2 score.
BURNHAM (10-15) - For weeks it seemed like Burnham was in the top four in the league and in fact they were from May 21 to June 8. But, from June 3 to the end of the season, Burnham dropped 12 of its last 15 games. The highlight of the year for manager Tom Heller and his team came on June 14 when it knocked Yeagertown out of the pennant race, 11-4. The team does return 11 players, five of whom were All-Stars.
LEWISTOWN (25-2) - Simply put, the West manager, Bernie Howard, and his teams don't lose to teams that they shouldn't. This year, Lewistown dropped two games early, one to Beaver Springs and one to Yeagertown. Late in the year when it had to face its two top competitors in back to back games, it won both of them by 4-3 scores. The West has run off four straight titles and with six starters back No. 5 could be on the horizion.
McVEYTOWN (15-11) - Rookie manager Ralph Hassinger finally got things turned around for his team on May 24 with a 9-0 win over Belltown. From that point on, McVeytown won 13 of its next 14 games and went from ninth to fourth. For the seven 15-year-olds - Cody Donaldson, Doug Harshbarger, Sammy Kauffman, Jarred Schmidt, Curtis Snook, Zane Specht and Dane Wakefield - it was a nice turnaround from their first two years when the team won only seven games.
MILROY (6-20) - Milroy won only six games this year and Caleb Druckemiller had his hand in two of the six. On May 21, Milroy pulled off one of the major upsets of the year as it downed Beaver Springs, 8-7. Druckemiller saved the game with his glove at second base. Then on June 17, Milroy had a late rally in the bottom of the seventh against Burnham and Druckemiller knocked in the game-winning run. The Milroy manager, Ted Rhoades, became the 22nd man to manage in more than 100 games; he now has a 31-74 record.
REEDSVILLE (13-14) - This season marked the second season in a row that Reedsville had a losing campaign, something that hasn't happened during the past 45 years. It won't happen again in 2012. Reedsville returns 12 of its 15 players and during the stretch run it lost some tough games, falling to the West 9-2 on June 13 and closing with losses to Beaver Springs, 6-3, and Yeagertown, 12-11, in nine innings. The one loss that will haunt manager Scott Reigle over the winter and probably cost his team a winning season came early as it fell to Strodes Mills on April 30, 9-7.
STRODES MILLS (6-20) - Early on, it looked like Strodes Mills might be the surprise team of the year. Strodes Mills jumped off to a 2-0 start with wins over McVeytown and Reedsville and going into a May 24 game with Lewistown, it had a 4-5 record. But a 12-6 loss to the West put Strodes on a 10-game losing streak that it never recovered from. Manager Butch Larson saw his team lose at least six games by three runs or less and two of those were in extra-innings to Burnham and Reedsville.
YEAGERTOWN (20-6) - Everything in early spring was coming up roses for manager Fred Zook and his team. Yeagertown was the early leader with a 10-0 record, but two losses to Lewistown and McVeytown in mid-season and then a late season crash doomed the Yellow and Green to a third-place finish. But, Yeagertown did regain its form at the end of the season and won its last four games.