The State College 12u Little League team almost waited too long against Bellefonte in the District 5 Championship Game on July 7.
The exciting 3-2 win gave the team the D5 Championship and qualified it for the Sectional Little League Tournament scheduled to begin in Hollidaysburg on Friday, July 16.
“Both teams played a great game,” State College coach Deron Williams said. “Bellefonte just made a few uncharacteristic errors in the comeback in the 6th and we were able to take advantage of them.”
SC began the inning with a single by Caleb Foytack, and after a fielder’s choice, an error, and a walk, the bases were loaded with one out.
Another error on a hard ground ball by Skyler Crane tied the game at 2-2 when Cooper Salvato and A.J. Fry scored. Kellen Williams then singled, loading the bases again, and Hardison followed by dramatically ending the game with a clean line drive hit to center field.
“We got a couple solid hits in the inning from Caleb Foytack, Kellen Williams and a walk off single from Davontae Hardison,” coach Williams said.
“I thought Kellen had hit a walk off homer, which would have been a memory of a lifetime, but I was happy for Davontae as he finally got a pitch to hit.”
Things did not always look good in this game for State College. Bellefonte pitcher Cole Houser threw shut-out baseball through the first five innings, and Parker VanGunden gave Bellefonte a 1-0 lead with a home run in the fourth.
In the top of the sixth, Bellefonte increased its lead to 2-0 when Quinn Park scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Tristan Herman.
But SC still had an at bat, and it came up with the big hits when it needed them most.
“I have a lot of respect for the Bellefonte program,” Williams added. “Our boys have been battling with those same kids since they were seven years old. Trust me, these two teams have had some wild games. Congratulations to them on a great season.”
State College will now take on North Lebanon in the Sectional Tournament on Friday in Hollidaysburg.