LANGELOTH - The Burgettstown Men's Fastpitch Softball League will start its 55th season today with two games at the Gus Barbush Memorial Field in Langeloth.
The league has held a season every year, with the exception of 2010, since its inception in 1959. This season, there will be five teams competing for the championship, including defending champions Slovenian Club, runner-up Maxwell's Big Bucks, Kovach's Drywall, Blue Devil Distribution and T's Locker Room.
Games will be played at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. League action starts with Blue Devil Distribution versus Kovach's Drywall at 7 p.m. today, followed by Maxwell's and Slovenian Club at 8:30 p.m.
Slovenian Club is the defending champion and will again have a strong team. Tim Bendick's team will have Chris Bendick and Mike Schaedel leading the way on the mound. The team will again have a solid hitting lineup led by the Pavan brothers Bryan and Tyler, Bob Siegworth, Butch Maga, Billy Deer and Brent Williams.
Maxwell's Big Bucks will attempt to regain the league title and also returns a strong lineup. John Midler and "Big" John Schilinski will handle the pitching duties. Maxwell's will again have a fundamentally sound team with most of the team returning in Luke Schilinski, Chuch Ivanac, Dave Midler, Sev Vallina, Zach Bertolotti and Tyler Lonchar. The addition of Cole Heckman will solidify the infield and they are the favorites to win the championship, along with the Slovenian Club.
Kovach's Drywall return for their second season and should be much improved. Zach Schilinski, Eric Kovach and Doc Walcheski will share pitching duties. The young lineup will be led by John Dugas, Kurt Kowalski, Spic Riggins and Nick Tasz.
Blue Devil Distribution will have a mix of high school kids and veteran players that should keep them competitive throughout the year. Tim Zelenko and Spud Matalik will handle the pitching duties. Leadership will come from veterans Luke Snatchko, Joe Wiles, Anthony Tagliaferra, Sean Tunno, Michael LaRocka and Cary and Ryan Transue. The youngsters looking to learn include Travis Wiles, Shane Transue, Cole LaRocka, Nate Cooper, Michael Smith and Brandon Sell.
Dave Balmer will lead a young inexperienced group at T's Locker Room. Gary Pscolinski will handle most of the pitching duties. Chad Conley will provide guidance to a group of players with little to no fastpitch experience, including Chris and Tyler Speer, Hunter Balmer, Dylan Dhans and Cordell Conley.
This week's action includes:
7 p.m. today, Blue Devil Distribution and Kovach's Drywall;
8:30 p.m. today, Maxwell's and Slovenian Club;
5 p.m. Sunday Blue Devil and T's Locker Room;
6:30 p.m. Sunday, Kovach's and T's Locker Room;
7 p.m. Tuesday, Maxwell's and Kovach's; and
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Slovenian Club and Blue Devil.