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Bellefonte bats come out early , holds late surge by MC

By Kenny Varner

LEWISTOWN – They meet again.

Last season, the Bellefonte and Mifflin County baseball teams opened up the Red Raiders new field at Governor’s Park.

In that contest, the Huskies grabbed the thrilling 10-8 victory over the eventual state champion Red Raiders.

This time, Bellefonte looked to avenge its loss in front of the Huskies home fans while MIfflin County was looking to defend their home turf.

Bellefonte rallied early and was able to hold off a spirited effort by Mifflin County.

Peyton Vancas picked up the win as the Red Raiders defeated MIfflin County 10-8.

Mifflin County went with Doug Weaver on the mound while the Red Raiders retaliated with Vancas.

“We played about as bad as we could in the first four innings.There were too many walk and too many unnecessary base runners in general. When they hit the ball like they do nobody is going to succeed against Bellefonte when we are giving them free bases,” said Mifflin County coach Ray Hoppel. “I do feel like the depth of our team really showed today in the last three innings. Our guys that we used for pinch hitting came up and made the most of their opportunities. I was really proud of the way they fought back.”

Bellefonte opened the contest taking a 3-0 in its first at bats.

With one out, Peyton Vancas walked.

Catcher Braedyn Kormanic singled into left field. He was replaced on the base paths by courtesy runner Braeden Miller.

Levi Purnell put his team up by three as he roped a home run just over the centerfield fence.

Later in the inning, Bellefonte got a little 2-out Lightning going, loading the bases.

Isaac Gall reached on a Huskies miscue. Designated hitter Caleb Auman singled into left and Cam Lucas walked.

But Weaver was cool under pressure, ending the threat and the inning with a strikeout.

Trevor Johnson got the Bellefonte bats started again in the second, leading off with a solo shot to right centerfield.

After the home run, Jacob Ross came in for Weaver and shut things down.

Early on, the Huskies got runners on base but weren’t able to get anything across. The Huskies got hits by Ryan Kanagy and Landen Eichhorn in the first two innings.

In the third, Bellefonte rallied again.

Caleb Auman and Cam Lucas both walked with one out.

Ryan Fraley put down a bunt that stayed fair, hitting third base, loading things for Johnson.

Johnson walked in Auman, upping it to 5-0.

Vancas helped his own cause, lifting a sacrifice fly scoring Lucas.

Kormanic again came up big, posting a 2-RBI single, making it an 8-0 advantage going into the bottom of the inning.

Mifflin County started out the fourth looking to push a run across the plate.

Xavier Smith hustled out a Bellefonte error, making it to first. Caleb McKnight followed with a single.

Smith advanced to third on a fielders choice, putting runners on the corners with one out.

However, the Bellefonte defense pulled off a double play, ending the threat.

The Red Raiders added two in their half of the fifth, making it a 10-0 contest.

““I Loved the first four innings. We were attacking the baseball. We were putting pressure on them, hitting the hard for us and making them throw strikes. The pitching was there. We were throwing strikes,” said Bellefonte coach Joni Clark. “The last three innings we pitched ourselves in some bad spots. One thing we can’t defend is a walk. Walks hurt us those last few innings. But those types of games they test you and get you ready for a type of playoff intense games. You get to see how the kids respond and I like how we responded.”

Mifflin County loaded the bases in the fifth, Jayden Smith was hit by a Lucas offering. Reese Christine came in as a pinch runner. He moved up to second on a walk by Tucker Gill. Ryan Kanagy loaded things on a walk as well.

The Huskies scored its first run when Farrell Souders reached on an error as Christine scored.

Xavier Smith picked up an RBI single of his own, plating Gill, cutting it to 10-2.

Mifflin County refused to go away quietly.

After holding the Red Raiders scoreless in the sixth, they showed true patience at the plate as pinch hitters Madden Weaver and Hayden Yoder led off with a walk. Christine, who replaced Jayden Smith at first, walked loading them for JP Pannizzo. Pannizzo did not disappoint as he sent a blast over the right fielders head, scoring Weaver and Yoder, cutting into the lead 10-4.

Pinch hitter Grady Hoppel kept the inning alive, walking reloading the bases for the top of the order.

Ryan Kanagy continued the rally, notching an RBI walk, cutting it to only a 5-run deficit.

Xavier Smith brought his team a little closer hitting a soft grounder down first base allowing Pannizzo to score.

Weaver led off the seventh with a double to right.

Christine singled in Weaver, inching the Huskies even closer, 10-7.

Pannizzo followed with a walk, putting runners on first and second.

An error at second on a Hoppel grounder, loaded the bases.

Christine scored on a wild pitch, putting the Huskies to within 2-runs of tying the contest.

But the Red Raiders would close things down in the seventh for the hard fought victory as Johnson came in to pick up the save for Bellefonte.

Bellefonte  10, MIfflin County 8

BE    314 020 0 – 10 8 1

MC  000 024 2 –   8 7 3

WP: Peyton Vancas

LP: Doug Weaver

Multiple hitters: BE – Braedyn Kormanic , Trevor Johnson   . MC – None.

HR: BE –  Levi Purnell, Johnson.  MC –  None.

3B: BE –  None. MC –  None.

2B: BE – Kormanic  . MC – Landen Eichhorn, Madden Weaver.

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