BELLEFONTE - They fought to the end.
Despite losing to Bellefonte on Monday, Mifflin County's 10-and 11-year all-stars battled back by beating rival Big Valley to set up a rematch against the undefeated Red Raiders Friday at Bellefonte's home field.
Mifflin County came out posting two runs in the bottom of the first before Bellefonte rallied for six runs in the second en route to an 8-4 victory.
One big inning and numerous clutch defensive plays by Bellefonte led the Red Raiders to the Little League District 5 title.
With Mifflin County's run through the post season, the Purple and Gray finished their campaign as District 5 runners-up, the highest finish for a local team in all-star play this year.
Mifflin County manager Charles Whiteman was happy about his kids' efforts throughout the tournament, especially against Bellefonte.
"The last time we played them they out hit us and we gave up a lot of walks. Tonight we were consistent. In the second inning I might have kept my pitcher in a little too long because I thought we could get out of it. If anyone lost the game tonight, it wasn't the kids. It was me," Whiteman said. "They have nothing to be ashamed of. This group of kids are a first class team. I would take these kids any day and anytime. I wouldn't switch them for nobody."
Mifflin County went long in the top of the first.
Brando Souders got the game going, smacking a single into center field.
With two outs, Cole Schlegel roped a shot over the center field fence, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Bellefonte got its scoring done mostly in the second inning when it plated six runs, taking a 6-2 lead.
Bobby Marsh led off the inning with a walk. He moved over to second when teammate Terrance Hower singled into left, putting Marsh in scoring position. Ethan Richner tallied Bellefonte's first run on the night when he smacked a sacrifice fly into center, cutting the Mifflin County lead to 2-1.
Clayton McClellan tied the game when he singled in Hower.
With the game tied, Bellefonte continued to roll offensively.
Nick Kreger walked and later scored on a Mifflin County miscue trying to get Harry Horner out, making it 4-2. With two outs, Seth Shuey blasted a two-run home run, giving Bellefonte a 6-2 advantage going into the third.
Mifflin County cut into the lead in the top of the third when it manufactured its third run of the ball game.
Nick Goss led off the inning with a screaming double to right-center field.
Facing two outs, Bryce Dopson singled in Goss to close the scoring gap to 6-3.
In the fourth, Mifflin County inched another run closer to Bellefonte's lead thanks to an infield single and a stolen base by Gavin Ream followed by an RBI single by teammate Connor Cherry.
However, that would be as close as the spunky kids from Mifflin County would get as Bellefonte added two late fifth-inning runs to hold onto the advantage.
Even though Mifflin County didn't capture the title, the coach was proud of how they finished as district runners-up.
"Its great. It's great. These guys are awesome," Whiteman said.