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Keystone crushes Pottsville, 15-4

Gavin Burnell is greeted at home by a host of Keystone teammates after cracking a home run in the team's 15-4 win over Pottville.

By SHAREIK FLOWERS

sflowers@lockhaven.com

BEECH CREEK- The steady progression of Keystone’s slugging is working wonders for the team.

Keystone cracked four home runs en route to a 15-4 win over Pottsville in the Section 3 tournament. Keystone’s 15 runs were a season-high.

“I think the bats finally started to click like we know they can,” Keystone coach Pat Johnson said. “And we showed a little bit of our pitching depth.”

Keystone rotated between three hurlers. Starter Brady Myers threw two strikeouts and allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings.

“I thought Myers pitched well,” Johnson said. “We tried to keep him eligible to pitch on Monday if we needed him.”

Relief pitcher Gabe Johnson threw a game-high four strikeouts, and Nathan Wian finished on the mound.

“Gabe came in and got us out of a jam,” coach Johnson said. “Then we went to Nate who pitched a couple of innings and pitched solid.”

Leadoff hitter Braylen Corter reached base on a Pottsville fielding error in the first. He later advanced home on a wild pitch to put Keystone up early, 1-0.

TURNING POINT OF THE GAME

After singles by Nathan Wian and Gardner Fravel, Braylen Corter recorded an RBI single to put KS ahead, 2-0, in the second. A Pottsville fielding error on the play also scored two extra runs, extending Keystone’s lead 4-0.

“I think I had a high fastball, and I just tried to put it somewhere and ended up scoring three runs,” Corter said.

The fielding error blew open the game for Keystone. Later in the inning Dallas Alexander cracked a two-out two-run home run to widen Keystone’s lead, 6-0.

STAR OF THE DAY

Braylen Corter continues to stand out in Keystone’s loaded lineup.

Corter scored Keystone’s first run of the game and finished the evening hitting 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. He’s hit safely in all six games this tournament season.

“I’m just seeing the ball really well,” Corter said of his hot streak this summer.

Corter ripped a solo home run in the fifth to stretch Keystone’s lead, 8-2. It was the second of Keystone’s four home runs in the game.

Head coach Pat Johnson is also impressed with Corter’s play.

“He’s insane,” Johnson said of Corter’s skill set. “He’s so consistent. There’s never a dip [in his play], and he does what he does.”

STAT OF THE GAME

Keystone’s four home runs bulldozed the way for the 15-4 win.

“When they swing the bat like that it makes everything a little bit easier,” Johnson said.

After home runs by Dallas Alexander and Braylen Corter, Levi Schlesinger cracked a two-run blast over the left-field fence to extend Keystone’s lead, 12-4 in the fifth. Later in the inning Gavin Burnell crushed a three-run bomb to widen Keystone’s lead, 15-4.

“We know it’s there, it’s just a matter of putting it together,” Johnson said of the home runs. “And we have three or four more [hitters] who just need to get clicking.”

UP NEXT

Keystone has a quick turnaround and faces Snyder County 5 p.m Sunday in the second round of the section 3 tournament.

Snyder County played in the day game against Wellsboro and erased a 5-1 deficit en route to a 6-5 victory.

Head coach Pat Johnson viewed the game before Keystone’s 15-4 blowout win.

“We’re going to approach it the same way,” Johnson said of Sunday’s game. “We’re going to show up and be ready to play for a six-inning battle.”

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