The Bellefonte baseball captured the state title in 2016 and ranked No. 2 on the Centre Daily Times’ list of top 10 sports stories in 2016.
2. Bellefonte wins PIAA baseball title
The Bellefonte baseball team captured the first state championship in program history in June, beating Susquehanna Township in the PIAA Class AAA championship to complete an improbable postseason run.
The Red Raiders went 1-7 to start the season, but they finished the regular season strong and got hot at the right time. Bellefonte was the No. 5 seed and earned wins over Greater Johnstown, Somerset and Hollidaysburg to win the District 6 title.
The Red Raiders then won one-run games against Chartiers Valley, Cathedral Prep and Hamburg to earn a trip to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to play for the state title under first-year coach Dan Fravel. Each win was highlighted by memorable performances.
“It was just one heck of a run that I’ll never forget,” Bellefonte’s Tyler Kreger said.
In the team’s 2-1 win over Chartiers Valley in the first round, Dom Masullo threw five scoreless innings of relief and Storm Smith drove in the game-winning run on a single in the sixth inning.
Both seniors soon topped those moments.
But a sophomore stole the show in the quarterfinals as left-hander Adam Armstrong threw a one-hitter to lead the Red Raiders past Cathedral Prep 1-0.
In the semifinals, Smith delivered again. The Red Raiders trailed 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning when he stepped to the plate to face Hamburg pitcher Janson Youndt. He battled Youndt to a 3-2 count and hammered the ninth pitch down the left field line for a two-run, walk-off double.
Masullo then pitched a gem to help his team bring the trophy back to Bellefonte, throwing a complete game in a 2-0 win over Susquehanna Township. He was a factor in nearly all seven games during the playoffs, finishing with five wins and one save.
Kreger drove in the team’s first run in the state title game and had the lone RBI in the state quarterfinals.