BELLEVILLE - Just when Belleville thought that it had some breathing room in the race for the top spot in the Mifflin County Babe Ruth League, Belltown came to town and squeezed the air out of the Big Valley boys.
On Wednesday, Belleville and Reedsville were tied for the top spot with 18-2 records. Belleville beat Yeagertown, 6-0, while Reedsville fell to Beaver Springs, 8-0.
That gave Belleville a one game lead with six games remaining for each team.
On Friday, Belltown took what was a close game and made it into a 7-3 win by scoring five times in the sixth inning.
Belleville is still in first place, but barley as it holds a half game lead over Reedsville. which was idle.
Things don't get much easier for Belleville as it must travel to Beaver Springs on today for a 2 p.m. showdown with the fourth-place team in the league.
The win for Belltown gives it a 16-8 record and it now holds a game and half lead over the Springs (13-8) for third place.
Belltown scored two runs in the first inning as Ross Underhill, Nick Hostetler and Levi Sherwood opened the game with base hits. Austin Erb hit into a fielder's choice, but Tre Fleck put down a squeeze bunt that Belleville misplayed into two runs.
Belleville battled back with a run in the first as Isaac Maclay singled and Eddie Hamman doubled him home. The Big Valley club tied the game in the third as Maclay singled and two outs later scored on a Jake Yoder base hit.
Belleville took the lead in the fourth as Caleb Yoder reached on an error and scored on a Joey Taptich ground out.
One of the keys to the Belltown upset was the pitching of surprise starter Chayce Macknair, a 13-year-old.
Macknair held the Belleville bats in check as he only gave up six hits, walked one and struck one out.
He didn't get the win. That went to Fleck. The 15-year-old finished and didn't give up a run and only two hits.
The big inning for Belltown came in the sixth. It sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs.
Things started off bad for Belleville and then got worse. Fleck walked and Owen Shawver was sent into pinch run.
Gavin Erb was hit by a pitch and then Austin Herring and Hunter Goss reached on errors that scored Shawver and Erb. Another Belltown rookie, Tyreen Smalley, came up with clutch RBI-single.
Underhill, the Belltown lead off hitter, then delivered an RBI-single and Andrew Willard, another 13-year-old, finished off Belleville with an RBI ground out.
Belltown closed the game with double play and it bookended its great defensive effort as it turned a double play in the first inning.
Belltown had a perfect week going 4-0 and extending its winning streak to four games. Belleville saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end.
Milroy 16, Yeagertown 5
YEAGERTOWN - Milroy got a strong pitching performance from Gage Boreman as it beat Yeagertown 16-5 for its fifth win of the season.
Boreman had a complete game as he struck out nine, walked six and gave up just five hits.
Yeagertown scored all of its runs in the fifth inning, but by then it was down 9-5. Milroy closed out the game with seven runs in the seventh.
Ty Bodtorf was the only multiple hitter for Yeagertown with two hits including a double.
Milroy had only eight hits, but Yeagertown committed four errors and issued 11 walks.
Jake Smith, Aaron Rhoades and John Retherford each had two hits for Milroy.
The win snapped a four game losing streak for Milroy.
Strodes Mills 12,
LEWISTOWN - On May 4, Strodes Mills swept its first doubleheader since 1991, a span of 23 years as it beat Belltown and Yeagertown. Strodes Mills accomplshed the feat again on Friday and this time it only took 40 days.
On Friday, Strodes Mills downed McVeytown 12-8 and 15-4.
In the first game, Strodes Mills had to come from behind to get the win as McVeytown scored seven runs in the first inning.
McVeytown sent 11 men to the plate as Alec King had two hits and Justin Rodkey smashed a double. McVeytown also got two walks and Strodes Mills made three errors.
Strodes Mills worked its way back and when it scored four times in the bottom of the sixth it took a commanding four run lead. Nick Poche had a key single in the sixth and Strodes Mills also drew four walks.
Poche finished with three hits including a double. Edward Runkle helped the Strodes Mills cause with three hits and Drew Williams tripled. Strodes Mills finished with nine hits.
Wyatt Henry, a rookie, picked up the win with a complete game. He struck out five, walked four and gave up six hits.
King and Michael Bagrosky, a 13-year-old, each had two hits for McVeytown.
Strodes Mills 15,
LEWISTOWN - Eric Shilling, made his rookie debut on the mound, and went the first three innings striking out one, walking four and giving up five hits as Strodes Mills won the second game of its doubleheader with McVeytown, 15-4.
Shilling made his first start on the mound for Strodes Mills and got the win. Jonah Kile finished the game with two strong innings, as he struck out five. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
McVeytown finished with five hits and three of them came in the third inning when it scored three times cutting the Strodes Mills lead to 11-4. Justin Rodkey, Matthew Harshbarger and Dylan Goss each had singles for McVeytown.
Strodes Mills finished with 11 hits as four players had two hits, Wyatt Henry, Austin Haubrick, Drew Williams and Garret Rhoades.