SENDING A MESSAGE: Keyser stays hot with 4th victory
KEYSER - How do you rebound from a disappointing 0-3 start to begin a season? First, you grab your first win. Then you get win number two to prove win number one wasn’t a fluke. Next you win a third game to show that winning is now a trend. Then, if you can win a fourth straight, which Keyser did by an impressive 8-2 tally over Southern at home on Thursday, you’re sending a message.
Keyser erased those three losses to open the season with four straight victories over opponents Berkeley Springs, Grafton, Moorefield and Southern. Good hitting, good fielding, and good pitching, obviously three key elements to winning baseball, have been on full display by the Black and Gold recently. Those four straight wins show that the proof is indeed in the pudding.
“All around, it was a well-played game,” Keyser coach Scott Rohrbaugh said after the contest. “We pitched, hit, and played defense well against a good team. The bats got hot in the third inning and then pitching and defense made it hold up.”
After a scoreless first two innings, things got interesting in the third. First, Southern got on the board first when Isaac Uphole singled on a hard ground ball to right field to score William Moon who singled earlier. Keyser responded to the one-run deficit in a huge way, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 7-1 lead. What follows is how those seven runs were scored.
Benny Oates reached base on a dropped third strike wild pitch. Two batters later, Gavin Root reached first base on an error and Oates advanced to second. Noah Broadwater then tripled on a shot to right field that scored Oates and Root to give Keyser the 2-1 lead. Sammy Bradfield then singled on a hard hit ground ball to left field to score Broadwater for the 3-1 lead. Darrick Broadwater then reached first base on an error, advancing Bradfield to second.
Two batters later, Seth Healy doubled on a line drive to center field, scoring Bradfield to give Keyser the 4-1 lead, and advancing Broadwater to third. Caden Youngblood then singled on a ground ball to the pitcher, scoring Broadwater for the 5-1 lead and advancing Healy to third. Benny Oates then tripled to score Healy and courtesy runner Bradley Sommers to bring the third inning tally to 7-1 in favor of Keyser.
In the top of the fifth inning, Southern scored their final run of the game when William Moon reached home off an error while stealing third base to bring the score to 7-2. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Keyser would score their eight and final run to make the score 8-2. Gavin Root got things started after reaching base by being hit by a pitch. Root then reached third base off a single from Noah Broadwater. Sammy Bradfield brough Root home on a fly ball to the outfield that allowed Root to tag up and score.
Freshman Noah Broadwater turned in a dominating, full-game, seven inning performance on the mound for Keyser in the win. Broadwater struck out eight, walked two, and gave up only two runs on nine hits.
William Moon and Tanner Haskiell combined for three innings each on the mound for Southern in the loss. Moon struck out three, walked none, and gave up seven runs on seven hits. Haskiell struck out four, walked none, and gave up one run on two hits.
Noah Broadwater also led Keyser offensively, gaining two hits, including one triple, and added two RBI’s while scoring a run. Gavin Root, Sammy Bradfield, Darrick Broadwater, Logan Rotruck, Seth Healy, Caden Youngblood, and Benny Oates each had a hit for Keyser, with Oates’ hit being a triple.
Root scored two runs; Bradfield added two RBI’s and scored a run; Darrick Broadwater scored a run; Healy added an RBI and scored a run; Youngblood added an RBI; Oates added two RBI’s and scored a run; Bradley Sommers also scored a run for Keyser.
Southern was led offensively by William Moon, Aerik Lebon, and Elisha Skipper, each with two hits apiece. Moon scored both of the Rams’ runs. Isaac Upole, Tanner Haskiell and Sammy Myers each had a hit for Southern as well. Upole added an RBI.
Looking to stay hot, Keyser (4-3) will next travel to Washington on Saturday for a 12 p.m. matchup with the Patrots. The Golden Tornado then travel to Frankfort on Monday at 4:30 for 2021’s first baseball battle of Mineral County.