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With no BCABL this year, East Butler baseball piecing together five-team season

East Butler’s Jake Wagner delivers a pitch duriing a BCABL game last season. While that league is not in operation this summer, East Butler has found a way to continue playing baseball this summer. (Steven Dalton Special to Butler Eagle) 6-27-2023

EAST BUTLER — East Butler baseball is playing on.

With the folding of the Butler County Area Baseball League, the high school-age team had no place to play this summer.

“We saw we had a team of 11 players, but no league to play in,” East Butler coach Jay Wagner said. “All these kids wanted to do was play baseball without having to get involved in any travel leagues.”

Wagner said East Butler Baseball Association president Juan Gonzalez and vice president Drew Mooney came out to a practice earlier this year “to make sure we had a full team in place.”

Once he discovered there was a team, Mooney went to work on finding opponents for it to play.

Related Article: Never easy losing a league

“Jay gave me names of some potential opponents and I checked on a bunch of teams myself,” Mooney said. “We found some teams wanting the same thing we do, a chance to play summer baseball without having to travel a long way to do it.”

East Butler is now playing Highlands, Springdale, Plum and Blawnox in a newly formed five-team circuit known as the North Allegheny Baseball League. Wagner said Prospect and Slippery Rock are trying to form teams and may soon join the league as well.

“We’re not going to have any playoffs this year,” Wagner said. “We’re planning on playing a 10-game schedule or so, ending the season just before the Freeport International Baseball (event) begins the week of July 22. We just want to get something started right now. We’ll likely look at a playoff format next year.

“We played six different teams over a five-day period in the Freeport event last year. Our kids loved it. I think that’s the reason a lot of them came back.”

East Butler’s 11 players are Jacob Wagner, Zarian Finucan, Keir Morris, Xavier Voltz, Gavin Gallagher, captain Colton Dickinson, Cody Fike, Keegan Rankin, Owen Nemeth, Leo Nagg and Kyle Krason.

Still unable to play at the East Butler Baseball Complex, East Butler is playing its home games on other local fields. Its next game is Tuesday against Plum at No Offseason in Mars.

“This is like a loose agreement between all these teams right now,” Mooney admitted. “We’re all just picking some games up, sharing in the cost, but the love of baseball is still there.

“This is all about getting kids on the field, off the screens and off the streets.”

Wagner agreed.

“We’re finding a lot of teams out there with the same attitude about summer baseball that we have,” he said.

Mooney said he didn’t want to promise anything “that may not happen, but I see good things coming down the road with this.”

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