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Hollidaysburg LL: ‘This has just been amazing’

Photo for the Mirror by Bill Shettle Hollidaysburg outfielder Aspen Anderson just narrowly missed making a catch on this ball hit deep.

BRISTOL, Conn. — About 50 Hollidaysburg Little League fans made the six-hour trip, and their presence was felt Friday in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game.

They sat behind the third-base dugout, cheering loudly, waving signs, dancing between innings and basking in the team’s achievement of advancing to the Little League World Series, the first-ever Blair County team ever to do so.

“This has just been amazing — everything about it,” Alayna Hatch, 16-year-old sister of pitcher-catcher Braden Hatch said. “I love how happy everyone is.”

Unlike Alayna, who has been here all week, 13-year-old Breckin Boland and his father, Tim, drove up Friday.

Breckin said the team is comprised of “all my friends,” and he announced many of the games at the Hollidaysburg Little League last year.

“It’s been a really fun experience watching them advance,” he said while visiting the concession stand at the Bart Giamatti Little League Training Complex.

Makenzie Link, sister of standout Chase Link, also drove in Friday morning.

“It was hard for me not to be here all week to watch these boys, but I’m super excited,” Makenzie, 16, said.

The parents were, too.

Jody Dull, mother of Brody Dull, called the experience “awesome.”

“It’s been a wild ride for everybody,” she said. “They’ve fought hard all week.”

The players appreciated the fan support.

“There’s never a moment where our fans are sitting down,” catcher-pitcher Braden Hatch said. “They’re always up and that gives us the energy and motivation to make us cheer.”

Chase Link predicted a larger turnout in Williamsport “because it’s our home state.”

— Neil Rudel

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