By Kenny Varner
EBENSBURG – The rematch!
Bellefonte and Juniata renewed acquaintances once again in this year’s the District 6 Class AAA Championship game.
The Red Raiders came out victorious a year ago and were looking to make it 2-in-a-row against Juniata.
However, with a new coach and a chance to add a little history to its program, Juniata was looking to get a little revenge and capture ‘the Chip’.
Playing at Central Cambria, the two were ready as Dom Caperella took to the mound for the Red Raiders while Juniata retaliated with Carson Kepner.
“Obviously it didn’t turn out the way we were hoping. Carson threw a good game,” said Juniata coach Ty Treaster. “ So many situations one pop fly, one ground ball things could have changed. Couple of pitches and a couple of hits we can’t get back but wish we could. They have a good hitting team but if you look they are not a 9-1 team better than us. We just couldn’t get our bats going.”
But in the end, the Red Raiders were able to find the holes offensively, winning while its defense allowed only four hits the entire game en route to the 9-1 victory earning them another District 6 title.
“He (Capperella) came in and threw strikes keeping them off balanced. I think they had a hard time adjusting to some of his pitches,” said Bellefonte coach Jon Clark said. “We had opportunities to plate runs and we scored nine. Still left a couple off the board and those guys hate leaving on base like I do. But we had all phases of our game going.”
Picking up multiple hits in the contest was Carson Kepner who finished with a 3-for-4 outing for the Indians.
The Red Raiders were led by Trevor Johnson who missed hitting for the cycle missing just a double for the rare fete.
Bellefonte scored first in the bottom of the first.
Trevor Johnson led things off with a single up the middle. He stole second and was moved to third on a fielders choice by Peyton Vancas.
Alex Ebeling tripled to right field, scoring Johnson easily.
Ebeling later scored on a RBI fielders choice, making it 2-0.
Bellefonte sailed through the first two innings, allowing no hits.
Juniata settled in in the second, sending down the Red Raiders down in the second.
In the top of the third, Juniata put together a little run. Michael Baranello was hit by a Capperella offering. He moved up to second on a stolen base. Kepner moved Baranello up to third as he blasted a shot into left.
However, the Bellefonte defense stiffened and held the Indians at bay.
Offensively, Bellefonte got back on the scoreboard in the third. Josh Brown hustled out an infield hit to start things off.
Johnson blasted a 2-run shot, upping it to a 4-0 advantage. But that would be all the Red Raiders would get as the Indians ended the inning with a double play.
Johnson continued to sizzle as he blasted an RBI triple, scoring Brown once again, upping the Red Raiders’ lead to 5-0.
Going into their final at bats, Juniata found itself trailing 9-0. They refused to go down without a fight, battling to end the shut out and play for pride.
Louden Sheaffer had a hit and scored on a single by Kepner to erase the shut out.
Juniata ends its season at 9-12 overall and 8-8 in the Tri-Valley League.
Bellefonte moves onto the next round next Thursday against a team TBA. The currently post a 15-5 record overall.
Bellefonte 9, Juniata 1
JUN 000 000 1 – 1 4 0
BEL 202 122 x – 9 10 1
WP: Dominic Capperella
LP: Carson Kepner
Multiple hitters: JUN – Carson Kepner 3-for-4. BEL – Trevor Johnson3-for-4, Josh Brown 2-for-3.
HR: BEL – Trevor Johnson . JUN – None.
3B: BEL – Alex Ebeling, Johnson. JUN – None.
2B: BEL – None. JUN -None .