Photo by Tim Weight
By Kenny Varner
BELLEFONTE – It was a dawning of a new era for the Bellefonte baseball team.
Tuesday, the Red Raiders opened its home season against the MIfflin County Huskies in a newly renovated baseball complex at Governor’s Park.
Coming off a nail biting win at Hollidaysburg 7-6 on Monday, the Red Raiders we’re looking to keep their unbeaten streak alive.
But the going up and coming Huskies had other ideas, spring boarding off a 7-run third inning to take the victory.
However, the Red Raiders refused to go down without a fight mounting a late game charge before falling 10-8 in non-league action.
“The guys came out ripping the ball. The first inning was a little bit slow but we picked it up in the second inning. Two through five we were really good I thought,” said MIfflin County coach John McGonigal. “A lot of good relief for Jake there. A lot of good hitting. Ryan Hine had a really good day at the plate. A lot of positives you can take out of this even though the game got to where it was.”
Picking up the win for MIfflin County was Jacob Ross. Teammate Landen Eichhorn came in in the seventh and put out a late Bellefonte rally to notch the win for the Huskies. The Red Raiders had the bases loaded when the Huskies took care of the last out.
“There at the end it was nice to see that the guys didn’t give up. They kept battling to the end. The one things we talked about was “in games like this you got to make adjustments,” said Bellefonte coach Jon Clark. “We just didn’t make the adjustments early enough.”
Leading the offensive charge for MIfflin County were Landen Eichhorn (4-for-4, 3RBI), Ryan Hine (3-for-4 2RBI, 2 runs), Colin McKnight (2-for-3 2Runs, RBI) and Farrell Souders (2-for-4, 2Runs, RBI).
Bellefonte’s offense were led by Nash Irwin (2-for-2 RBI) and Josh Brown (2-for-2, run).
In the bottom of the first, Bellefonte scored first in the contest plating one.
Lead off hitter, Trevor Johnson got his team started of on a good note, walking. Teammate Peyton Vancas followed with a walk of his own.
Johnson moved up to third on two wild pitches.
Alex Ebeling scored Johnson as he hit a deep fly ball to left field, allowing him to tag up from third and score, making it a 1-0 contest.
Mifflin County responded, posting three hits en route to a two-run inning.
McKnight got things going with a single to start the rally.
Souders layed down a picture perfect bunt that he was able to beat out, putting runners on first and second.
After a SAC bunt by Hunter Marks, both runners moved into scoring position.
That set the stage for Eichhorn as he blasted a 2RBI double, putting his team up 2-1.
In the bottom of the second, Dominic Capperella led off with a single into right field.
He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Corman.
He moved to third on a bunt towards third. However, he was stuck at third.
Xavier Smith robbed Nash Irwin of an infield hit when he barehanded a bunt, posting the second out and most importantly, helped keep the Bellefonte runner from scoring.
Runs came early and often as Mifflin County posted seven runs in the top of the third.
The Huskies sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.
Tucker Gill got things started for MIfflin County, hustling out an infield hit deep at third.
Smith followed with a walk.
Ryan Kanagy loaded the bases as he hustled out a bunt.
Hine would take the ball to right center for a 2-RBI double.
McKnight would make it a 5-1 advantage smacking an RBI single.
Souders reached on a Bellefonte miscue, scoring Kanagy.
Chris Moon walked to load things up again for the Huskies.
Eichhorn continued his perfect day at the plate, posting an RBI single.
Smith would end the scoring in the inning as he posted an RBI sacrifice fly.
When the dust settled, the Huskies had a 9-1 advantage.
Bellefonte got some runners on in the bottom of the inning but were stranded early on.
The bats continued to contribute for MIfflin County adding another run in the top of the fourth, upping the lead to 10-1.
The Red Raiders hit the ball hard and it started to show starting with a comeback attempt that would start in the fifth inning when the Red Raiders posted four runs, cutting it to a 10-5 contest.
Taking one for the team Ebeling led things off in the fifth as he was plunked by a MIfflin County pitch.
Tristan Heckman followed with a walk.
Ebeling scored when Braedyn Kormanic doubled to left field.
Heckman scored as well, via a SAC fly by Capperella.
Jacob Corman brought in Kormanic thanks to a shot in between the gap between first and second.
Corman would later score, cutting the MIfflin County advantage to 10-5.
Defensively, Bellefonte shut down the Huskies in the last two innings, putting themselves in perfect shape to attempt a comeback in its last at bats.
With one out, Corman led off with a walk. He was replaced on the base path by pinch runner Felix Oquendo.
Irwin followed with a walk as well. He was replaced by a pinch runner. Running for Irwin was Caleb Stuck.
Josh Brown loaded the bases as he poked a single. He was pulled for pinch runner Nate Fisher.
Facing two outs as he came up to the plate, Vancas was cool under pressure crushing a two-run double into left field to score Stuck and Oquendo.
With two outs, the Red Raiders scored their last run via a Huskies error scoring Fisher.
But the Huskies were able to take the win, getting the last out of the game, winning 10-8.
MIfflin County 10, Bellefonte 8
MC 027 100 0 -10 14 2
BE 100 040 3 – 8 9 2
WP: Jacob Ross (MC)
LP: Dominic Capperella (B)
S: Landen Eichhorn (MC)
Multiple hitters: MC – Eichhorn (4-for-4, 3RBI), Ryan Hine (3-for-4 2RBI, 2 runs), Colin McKnight (2-for-3 2Runs, RBI), Farrell Souders (2-for-4, 2Runs, RBI). BE – Nash Irwin (2-for-2 RBI), Josh Brown (2-for-2, run).
2B: MC – Hine 3, Eichhorn. BE – Peyton Vancas, Irwin.