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Keystone 12Us move onto to finals

By Kenny Varner

BEECH CREEK – In the battle of unbeaten 12U teams, Keystone met up with a tough Loyalsock team Friday night in the District semi-finals held on Keystone’s home field.
With the winner advancing to the finals on Sunday, there was quite a nail biter going on as Keystone held a slim 3-2 advantage going into the fifth when the “Boys in Blue” ran off a 7-run inning propelling them to the 10-2 victory.
Keystone started with hurler Ashton Probst while Loyalsock retaliated with Tyler Gee. Both started strong.
The combination of Probst, Matt Conklin and Levi Schlesinger allowed just two runs on three hits for the duration while the Keystone offense smacked around 11.
Early on, Probst had his stuff working as he struck out seven runs in four innings on 72 total pitches.
The long ball also played a strong part of determining the winner as well as Keystone got round trippers from Nate Helms and Peyton Newlen while Loyalsock got goners from Gee and Jake Ackerman.
But in the fifth, the Keystone bats caught fire, plating seven.
“I talked a little to the kids how one bad inning can destroy the game. But the kids worked hard. I am proud of them,” Loyalsock manager Eric Nagy said. “But when you give a team like Keystone’s caliber seven outs in one inning it’s going to hurt you. Keystone played a great game tonight.”
Cru Stover finished the game going 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored.
After losing the toss, Keystone ended up as the away team.
They wasted little time putting runs on the board.
With two out, Stover doubled down the third base line.
His stay was short as Conklin doubled him in.
Probst helped his own cause, driving a single to move Conklin to third.
However, the Loyalsock defense shut them down with just the lone run.
With one swing of the bat by Loyalsock’s Gee in the bottom of the inning tied the game at one as both teams went into the second.
Keystone had the bats out again in the second starting with Schlesinger. He started the rally with an innocent single into right.
Helms then stepped into the batters box and delivered a deep shot that easily cleared the centerfield fence, upping the lead to 3-1.
The score would remain the same up until the bottom of the fourth.
Pinch hitter, Jake Ackerman drilled a liner into the fans in right center, cutting the lead to just one as the fifth got underway.
Things dicipated very fast for Loyalsock.
Kaden Irvin cane off the bench and delivered a single to right. He then stole second and made it around home on consecutive wild pitches.
With two outs, Ashton Probst hustled out a grounder and it paid off as Loyalsock committed an error on the play.
Tyler Weaver made the mistake hurt as he tripled, clearing Probst off of base.
After a total of 11 batters came to the plate, Keystone owned a comfortable 10-2 advantage going into the last six outs.
That would be all the pitching staff and Keystone defense would need as they kept Loyalsock off the base paths for the victory and an automatic trip to the finals.
But Loyalsock still is alive as it plays Saturday for a second chance to reach Sunday’s final.
“Our substitutes really contributed today. They came in and they hit the ball well. They were right on the ball, every kid that came in,” Keystone manager Darren Stover said. “That was big. Our starters struggled a little bit and the guys on the bench picked us up tonight. That’s the great thing abodut this team. One through 13, they all contribute.”

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