Last updated: July 23. 2014 11:56PM - 940 Views
By Dennis C. Way By Times Herald

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SKIPPACK — Let those other managers play small ball, utilize the hit and run and hit behind the runner.

Mitch Kauffman, manager of the Red Land team playing this week in the Pennsylvania State Little League tournament at Skippack’s Palmer Park, will have none of it.

His team hits, and it hits for power and it scores runs.

Wednesday afternoon, Red Land moved on to the consolation final by doing what it does best.

The team slugged eight home runs — all in the first two innings — and battered Back Mountain American, 15-4, in a contest halted after four innings due to the mercy rule.

Kyle Hannon and Reese Kauffman each belted two homers, while Luke Wagner, Hunter Merritt, Jaden Henline and Donovon Ball each added one as Red Land, once again, turned its opponent Red Faced.

“We hit our fair share of home runs,” said manager Kauffman. “We’re a very offensive-minded team.”

With the wind blowing out, Wagner’s leadoff homer in the first inning, a high drive to dead center field, may have been aided by nature.

“The wind wasn’t much of a factor today,” Kauffman said with a smile. “Most of the balls our guys hit today would have been out most anywhere.”

After Wagner’s leadoff homer, Hannon doubled to center, took third on Ball’s single and both scored when Merritt rocketed a ball off the scoreboard beyond the left-field fence.

Kauffman followed with another scoreboard rattler, and after five batters, Red Land led, 5-0.

“We try and stick to hitting line drives,” Hannon said, “but a lot of them go out because of our power.

“We can create runs by getting runners on base and hitting the long ball. If the fences are deeper, we’re going to hit a lot of doubles and singles.”

Red Land doubled its pleasure in the second inning, totaling five more homers, sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring 10 times.

Henline led off the frame with a homer to right, Wagner doubled, Hannon and Ball homered and the carousel began again.

“We tell our players they’re in scoring position as soon as they get in the batter’s box,” Kauffman said. “The bunt is not part of the offense.”

Back Mountain, which put up 10 runs in the first two innings of its prior victory over Warwick, got one run back on Dylan Schuster’s second-inning homer, and sent nine men to the plate in scoring three times in the third.

But on this day the bash and crash offense of Red Land, once again, stole the show.

But now, the question comes up, can it continue?

Red Land fell to Collier early in the tournament while scoring only four runs. A repeat of that output would likely end its season.

Can the Red Land offense find the “On” switch and continue its double-figure scoring when it has to?

“Four runs is not typical of us,” Kauffman said. “We’ve been averaging 12, 14 runs per game.

“We didn’t hit the ball well in that (Collier) game, but the guys have been a lot looser the last couple of games. And that’s a good sign.”

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