Keystone 8-10 wins District 12 Championship over Loyalsock, 6-2

The Keystone 8-10 All-Stars celebrate with their District 12 Championship banner after winning the title game against the Loyalsock 8-10 All-Stars, 6-2, on Saturday. Keystone moves on to the sectional tournament starting this week. (The Express/Shareik Flowers)

The Keystone 8-10 All-Stars celebrate with their District 12 Championship banner after winning the title game against the Loyalsock 8-10 All-Stars, 6-2, on Saturday. Keystone moves on to the sectional tournament starting this week. (The Express/Shareik Flowers)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT – The Keystone All-Stars (8-10 years old) carried on the area’s rich tradition of little league baseball as the team dropped Loyalsock, 6-2, to win the District 12 Championship.

“Our pitching, defense and putting the bunt down helped us today,” Keystone head coach Steve Shade said. “I’m proud of them to show up on this stage and to come out, perform and put all the aspects of baseball together in a win today.”

Keystone starting pitcher Hart Fletcher went 4 1/3 innings on the mound, threw for two strikeouts and surrendered just one hit.

“He’s a big-time pitcher,” head coach Shade said of Fletcher. “That’s what his good quality is during these big games. He’s an experienced 10-year old, he’s played a lot of ball and he came to pitch today.”

Keystone led 1-0 before Nolan Cross’ leadoff triple to commence the second inning. Later in the inning, Hunter Donley hit a sacrifice-bunt RBI to put his team up 2-0. The bunt was an effective tool for the team in the title game and helped manufacture runs for the Keystone squad – whose hitting was less explosive than usual.

“The bunting is what got us going,” Shade said. “It got us to score some runs when we weren’t putting the ball in play as much as we usually do.”

The Keystone All Stars also shined in base running. Gavin Kerstetter and Jase Seltzer added two insurance runs off effective base running to help extend Keystone’s lead 6-1. Seltzer’s run was the final score of the game for the team and came just after a Griffin Kerstetter RBI single.

Loyalsock attempted a late rally but was held to just one run in the sixth inning.

With the win, Keystone went undefeated through the district tournament.

“Our team is built with speed, defense and some good pitching to go with it,” Shade said. “We just work on bunts and getting bunts down because it’s a part of the game.”

“I just want to take my hat off to the boys for showing up, working hard, being there everyday, staying committed to this team and being a team all-around from [hitters] one through thirteen,” he added.

The Keystone team out-hit Loyalsock 7-3, but its seven runs were a far cry away from its 26 scores against Loyalsock earlier in the season. Shade attributes that to a more developed Loyalsock team this go-around.

“We’re a good-hitting team, so hats off to Loyalsock’s pitcher [John Kiehl],” Shade said.“He pitched one heck of a game. It’s our second time seeing him. This time he came to pitch and he did very well today.”

Keystone returns this week in Sectionals against a team and location to be determined.

“We’re not done yet. We’re looking forward to going further,” Shade said.

1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E

LS 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 3 3

KS 1 1 0 1 3 x 6 7 2

NOTABLE HITTERS:

Keystone: Griffin Kerstetter (2 hits and 1 RBI), Hunter Donley (1 RBI) and Nolan Cross (1 Triple).

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