BELLEFONTE - It was quite the start that the Big Valley 11-12 year old all-star team was hoping for in their 2014 debut.
However, the Bellefonte Raiders' offense opened the contest with a bang. T.J. Funk blasted his first of two homeruns in his first appearance at the plate to launch his team to a 12-2 win in five innings.
Despite getting numerous players on the base paths, Big Valley wasn't able to get that one hit that would help them get back into the game to keep it from getting out of hand.
"I thought our big thing tonight was that we didn't get the key hit when we needed it," Big Valley coach Gary Eichorn said. " I think we threw the ball around a little too much tonight. I think we gave them more than three outs in a couple of innings. There was a couple times we had them down and could had it go 1-2-3 but instead we gave them four or five outs. We'll get better."
After holding the Big Valley offense scoreless in the top of the first, Bellefonte started out in blazing fashion.
On the first pitch of the ball game, Funk connected on a Big Valley offering and sent it over the centerfield fence, making it 1-0.
Colton Burd continued the hits plastering a ground rule double that took a one hopper over the right field fence.
Ben McCartney quickly upped the score to 3-0 when he belted the second home run of the inning.
However, Big Valley tightened things up and set down Bellefonte's next three batters.
Trailing 3-0, Big Valley came back and was able to load the bases but couldn't plate a run.
In the bottom of the second, Bellefonte added four more runs in the inning, taking a 7-0 advantage.
Once again, Big Valley tried to make a comeback and its offense was able to get the bases loaded once again. Unlike in the first, the Red and White were able to get some of its players across the plate, cutting it 7-2.
Marshall Maidens led things off with an infield single that bounced off the pitchers foot and bounced straight up.
However, he was called out when Colby Bodtorf's sacrifice bunt attempt was thwarted by a strong play from the Bellefonte defense.
With Bodtorf on first, Ethan Eichorn blasted a shot of his own-hitting a one hopper over the fence for a ground rule double.
Trey Kibe loaded the bases with a walk, setting the stage for Ben Esh.
Esh gave Big Valley its first run of the game, poking an RBI single.
Levi Wise's two-out RBI single cut the Bellefonte lead to 7-2 going into the bottom of the third.
That's all the Big Valley team could muster as the Bellefonte defense and offense finished off the game going on a 5-0 scoring run.
Despite the loss, Big Valley still has life in them as they will be back in action Monday in double elimination action.