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Bellefonte Beats State College to Capture District 5 Little League Title

by on July 08, 2018 11:18 AM

Bellefonte Little League’s 12-and-under All Stars defeated State College, 9-2, on Saturday night at Webster Field, capturing the District 5 crown and finalizing their status as the local juggernaut. In four District 5 games, Bellefonte scored 54 runs and yielded only seven.

Leading the way for Bellefonte in the title game were starting pitcher Josh Brown and starting catcher Braedyn Kormanic, who smashed three hits and also relieved on the mound.

After an opening round loss, State College emerged from the loser’s bracket with four straight wins to reach the championship game. But with Bellefonte steamrolling the competition, the two wins State College would have needed for the title were a tall order.  

 


Despite entering the game as the underdog, State College had every intention of pulling an upset. In fact, the visitors watched the movie, “Miracle” after their Saturday morning session of batting practice. No doubt that epic film provided hope, but State’s players couldn’t replicate the shocking success of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Although starting pitcher Jack Messina held Bellefonte scoreless in the first inning, the home team began to show some offense in the second. Bellefonte posted two runs in the second inning, and then the kids from the county seat got four in the third and three in the fourth to lock up the win.  

But State College teams rarely surrender to their Centre County rival. Even with two outs in the fifth inning, Messina maintained his focus and produced a single, one of State’s seven hits. Kody Aurandt then followed with the biggest blast that either team could produce, a towering homer to left-center field that closed out the scoring.  

“They battled,” said State College assistant coach Brian Graupensperger. “They didn’t give up. Even though it looked bleak, they were yelling and cheering.”

Bellefonte will now face the District 6 champion in the Section 4 playoffs hosted by Huntingdon at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

State College lost to Bellefonte Saturday night in District 5 Little League playoffs, but Nick Belinc (left) and Owen Yerka brought plenty of enthusiasm to the game.  (Photo by Jen Chesnut)



Bill Horlacher is a native of Happy Valley, a 1970 graduate of State College High School and a 1974 graduate of Penn State (journalism). He has spent his last 30 years in service to international students, helping them with personal, cultural and spiritual adjustments to America. After 39 years of living in California, Maryland and Texas, Bill returned to State College in 2013 along with his wife, Kathy.
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