The postseason run for the Bellefonte Little League team came to an end Wednesday night.
Red Land’s offense proved to be too powerful as it raced away with a 12-7 victory in the Section 4 championship game of the 11-12-year-old Little League tournament.
“They are a good hitting team,” Bellefonte manager Eric Funk said. “We didn’t give them a ton or errors or a ton of walks, but we just couldn’t match them hit-for-hit.”
Red Land, from near Harrisburg, blazed through the four-team Section 4 tournament with three wins by a combined score of 35-9.
Bellefonte got off to a good start, with C.J. Funk leading off the game with a home run, but Red Land had a quick answer in the bottom of the first inning. RBI doubles by Kyle Hannon and Reese Kauffman highlighted a four-run inning, chasing starting pitcher Ben MacAfee before he could get out of the frame.
Bellefonte did rally to tie the game in the top of the second, with Zane Thornburg and Nick Catalano reaching base before C.J. Funk blasted another homer — a three-run shot.
But Red Land again grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second with three more runs and would never lose the lead again.
Kauffman and Luke Wagner later added homers during a three-run third inning to extend the margin.
Colton Burd registered a two-run single in the fourth inning and Gunner Fravel clubbed a solo homer in the sixth to round out the Bellefonte scoring.
“We’re real proud of them,” Eric Funk said. “They fought hard to the end and they didn’t give up.”
C.J. Funk was tagged with the loss in relief, while Hunter Merritt picked up the win.
Red Land will head to the state tournament at Lower Perkiomen, near Philadelphia, from July 20-27.
Bellefonte, on the other hand, fell short of its goal to advance to the state tournament but Funk said there were few heads hanging after the final out.
“They’re in very good spirits,” the manager said. “They recognized we were the section runner-up, and that’s a good feat for a league like outs. The kids recognize that. We had a lot of fans make the trip each night down there, and that helped a lot.”