BRISTOL, Conn. — There wasn't a monster inning or any mammoth home runs, at least, not until the final inning.
Heading into the final inning on Sunday, the Red Land Little League team, which was the Pennsylvania state champion, led New Jersey 4-0. Then, Red Land showed that no matter the score or at what point in the game it is, it can explode offensively at any given time. Red Land scored eight times in the top of the sixth, en route to a 12-0 victory, becoming the Mid-Atlantic Regional champions and earning the league and York County its first ever berth to Williamsport and the Little League World Series.
In that final frame, Red Land finally broke through for its only huge inning and long home run. Chayton Krauss crushed a two-run homer and Ethan Phillips and Jaden Henline each roped two-run doubles to account for six of the eight runs scored in the inning. Krauss' homer gives Red Land 80 in 16 games during its postseason run and the final score improves the team's run differential to plus-231, outscoring teams 244-13.
The game got started with Red Land striking right away in the top of the first, despite not recording a hit in the inning. With the bases loaded, Dylan Rodenhaber got hit by a pitch, bringing in the first run of the game. After going quietly in the second, Bailey Wirt extended Red Land's lead to 2-0 after the New Jersey shortstop couldn't handle a sharp grounder. Then, single runs in the fourth and fifth innings pushed Red Land's lead to 4-0 after five, but, to New Jersey's credit, after losing to Red Land 13-2 on Thursday, it prevented Red Land from doing the same on Sunday and blowing the game open. That was, until the sixth inning.
All that was left after the eight-run inning was for Cole Wagner to finish the job, which he did in style, ending the game with a strikeout. The players stormed the infield, tossing their gloves into the air and creating a dogpile in the middle of the infield.
Wagner pitched the entire game, hitting the max pitch limit of 85 during the game's final batter, but due to the rules, he could finish the at-bat. He scattered eight hits in the contest, several of which didn't leave the infield. On top of that, he also struck out eight New Jersey batters.
Offensively, Henline led all hitters in the game with four hits and three RBIs. Adam Cramer, Phillips and Krauss each drove in two runs in the game.
Red Land's first game in Williamsport will be on Friday at 8 p.m. It'll take on Missouri-Webb City Little League, which won the Midwest Regional on Saturday.