Frankfort defeats Keyser 11-7 in action-packed game

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort's Peyton Clark delivered for the Falcons at the plate in their victory over Keyser. Clark went four for four, added three RBI's and scored three runs in the victory.

SHORT GAP - If fans in attendance judged the bang for their entertainment buck on action and runs scored, then Frankfort’s 11-7 victory over Keyser on Monday in Short Gap should have left those in attendance satisfied.  Not only was their action in the form of runs scored, but especially early on, lead changes kept fans from both teams on the edge of their seat.

Keyser got things started in the top of the first inning when Logan Rotruck, who reached base on a single to open the game, scored from third on a bases loaded walk to go up 1-0. Frankfort responded by taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Andrew Lynch scored the first run after a lead off single put him on base and Peyton Clark batted him home. Ben Nestor, who reach based on a walk, scored on a fly out by Tyler White.

Keyser responded in a big way with three runs in the top of the second inning to take a 4-2 lead. Logan Rotruck and Noah Broadwater each reached on a walk and scored on a Sammy Bradfield hit to go up 3-2. Darrick Broadwater then singled to bring Bradfield home for the 4-2 advantage.

The 4-2 Keyser lead would hold until the bottom of the third inning when Frankfort put up four runs to reclaim the 6-4 lead. Brady Whitacre was on base as the result of being hit by a pitch and then stole second. Ben Nestor singled to bring Whitacre home to cut the Keyser lead to 4-3. Peyton Clark singled to bring Nestor home and tie the game at 4-4.

Colton McTaggart then doubled on a pop fly to left field to score Clark and give Frankfort a 5-4 lead. Jansen Moreland then singled to bring McTaggart home and extend the Frankfort lead to 6-4.

Frankfort would tack on two additional runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to up their lead to 8-4. Andrew Lynch reached second on a double and then advanced to third on a Brady Whitacre single. Ben Nestor then grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Lynch for the 7-4 lead. Peyton Clark then singled to bring in Whitacre and extend the Frankfort lead to 8-4.

Once again, Keyser didn’t lay down. The Golden Tornado scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to inch closer, narrowing the Frankfort lead to only one run, 8-7. Noah Broadwater singled and then Sammy Bradfield doubled. Darrick Broadwater singled to score Noah Broadwater to make it 8-5. Caden Youngblood then hit a sacrifice fly to score Bradfield and make it 8-6. Konner Bennett then singled to score Darrick Broadwater to make it 8-7.

In the sixth inning, Frankfort tacked on an additional three runs to bring the score to the final tally of 11-7. Peyton Clark singled and then stole both second and third base. Tyler White doubled to score Clark and make it 9-7. Colton McTaggart then bunted into a fielder’s choice to advance White to third. Jesse Hockaday then hit a hard ground ball to first and reached on an error that scored both White and McTaggart for the final runs of the game.

“We hit the ball really well. Even in the fifth inning, we had the bases loaded and we hit two line drives, they just caught them, but they were hit hard. Even when we had a goose egg on the board we hit the ball hard,” Frankfort coach Matt Miller stated.

According to Miller, “Peyton Clark had a great day at the plate, I think he was three for four or four for four. Tyler White had that big double there in the sixth inning, which was big for us. Our whole lineup pretty well hit today. As we keep going through the season we’ll keep hitting more and more.”

In what may have been the bunts heard ‘round the world, or at least in Short Gap, Frankfort employed the bunt to perfection.  Use of the bunt is a rarity for a Matt Miller-coached team. In addition to the bunt, the Falcons excelled in their base running.

“We talked about bunting earlier, the reason we don’t bunt is that in the last five seasons, we’ve had a stealing percentage of over 95 percent. So, I don’t like to waste outs. We’re going to run, it’s our style. We took advantage of some things and got guys in scoring position that came through in the end.

Frankfort out-hit Keyser 12-8 in the contest. The Falcons were led offensively by Peyton Clark who collected four hits, added three RBI’s, and scored three runs. Andrew Lynch had two hits for Frankfort, including a double, and scored two runs.

Ben Nestor, Brady Whitacre, Tyler White, Colton McTaggart, Jansen Moreland and Andy Westfall each had a hit for Frankfort. Nestor added two RBI’s and scored a run; Whitacre scored two runs; White had a double, added two RBI’s, and scored a run; McTaggart also doubled, added an RBI, and scored two runs; Moreland had an RBI; Jesse Hockaday collected two RBI’s.

Keyser was led offensively by Sammy Bradfield and Darrick Broadwater, each with two hits each. Bradfield had a double, added two RBI’s and scored two runs; Broadwater added two RBI’s and scored one run.

Logan Rotruck, Noah Broadwater, Seth Healy and Konner Bennet all collected one hit apiece for Keyser. Rotruck and Noah Broadwater each scored two runs; Bennett added an RBI.

Ben Nestor and Brady Whitacre combined on the mound for Frankfort in the win. Nestor went the first two innings, struck out three, walked five, and gave up four runs on three hits. Whitacre went the final five innings in relief, striking out seven, walking one, giving up three runs on five hits.

“Ben is one of our best guys, he’s thrown very well, but he hasn’t pitched in 10 days, that threw off our pitching. He didn’t throw from last Saturday until today. But, he got some pitches in and will be ready for this week. But Brady is our leader, he’s a four-year starter for us and a captain. His confidence level is high. My confidence level in him is high and our whole team follows,” Miller explained.

Brothers Noah Broadwater and Darrick Broadwater combined on the mound for Keyser in the loss. Noah went the first three and one-thirds innings, striking out four, walking one, giving up eight runs on nine hits. Darrick went the final two and one-thirds innings, striking out zero, walking two, giving up three runs on three hits.

Despite the loss, Keyser coach Scott Rohrbaugh was proud of the effort from his young team, and credited Frankfort on a game well-played.

“They took advantage of their breaks and we weren’t able to capitalize on ours. But, for both teams, it was a well-played game. I was missing a couple people here today due to circumstances beyond our control, so, we had several guys here, this was their first varsity game ever. I think we had one senior and one junior in the lineup today,” Rohrbaugh explained.

“Not taking anything away from Frankfort, they took advantage of their opportunities, and we missed a few of ours. They’ve showed that they don’t quit, they keep playing, and that’s what I’ve been wanting from them. Don’t quit, keep playing, and finish the game. For as young as we are, I’m pleased with where we are. For as young as we are, we’re progressing and getting better every day,” Rohrbaugh stated.