Keystone offense explodes again en route to 21-3 victory
By SHAREIK FLOWERS
Keystone’s explosive offense is the team’s identity.
In the season opener they bullied Williamsport in a lopsided 14-3 win. And last night the team played even better as they erupted for 21 runs en route to a 21-3 win versus the South All Stars. The game was scrapped after the third inning once Keystone secured the 15-run mercy rule.
“The boys came to play today,” Keystone manager Brad Mahoney said. “The bats were hot, and hitters one-through-13 were hitting the ball. And the defense was a little soft at first, but they picked it back up.”
Keystone’s offense recorded 14 hits in the game. Griffin Kerstetter had the game’s highlight reel at-bat in the third with a two-run blast. The ball nearly smacked off the scoreboard as Kerstetter extended his team’s lead, 19-3, with the home run.
“Their pitcher was throwing a little slow, and he gave me a nice fast ball right down the plate,” Kerstetter explained. “So I put my hips to it and smacked it right over the fence.”
Kerstetter’s home run was indicative of Keystone’s fire power on offense, but the scoring surge for the All Stars began in the first inning.
Jake Weaver commenced Keystone’s scoring in the opener when he singled into left field to drive in the game’s first run.
Later in the inning, Caleb Mahoney recorded a two-run single after smacking a hard ground ball that bounced away from the South second baseman. Mahoney soon scored Keystone’s fifth run of the evening after a South fielding error.
South responded swiftly in the bottom of the inning, and managed to cut its deficit to two runs after tallying three scores in the frame. It was Keystone’s lone headache of the game as both the offense and defense had stellar performances.
Keystone starter Jase Seltzer bounced back after surrendering three runs in the opening inning. He didn’t allow a run in the second and finished the night tied for a team-high three strikeouts.
Relief pitcher Guage Laughner entered in the final frame and fanned all three batters he faced.
“The pitching was fantastic,” Mahoney said. “The pitching’s just been great these first two games, and it’s up to our defense to do the job after that. But the boys on the mound do what they’re supposed to do.”
After building a 5-3 lead in the first, Keystone’s offense erupted for 11 runs in the second. After Bryce Brungard drove in a run, Caleb Mahoney smacked a two-run single to advance the lead, 9-3. After another South error led to a score, Guage Laughner ripped a two-run single to stretch the lead, 12-3. Cole Bailey added to the advantage with a bases loaded two-run single, and Jake Weaver recorded another RBI off a sac-fly.
Keystone added its final score in the inning off a South wild pitch to increase its lead, 16-3.
Keystone secured the early-victory with five runs in the third. Following another score off a South fielding error, Griffin Kerstetter launched a two-run home run. Jake Weaver and Hart Fletcher ended the night with back-to-back RBIs to advance Keystone’s lead, 21-3.
“We did great today, besides that first inning when we had a couple of errors,” Griffin Kerstetter said. “But we overcame it and did well.”
Keystone returns Friday to play the winner of last night’s matchup between Jersey Shore and Loyalsock. That game will be played Monday at Hepburn.