SELINSGROVE—Roosevelt Trail scored in the first and then again in the second to take a lead on one of the most dominant Little League programs in the State.
Roosevelt Trail held a lead on Keystone, but just couldn’t keep the team out of Beech Creek down as it battled back to score runs in the second, third, and fifth to capture a 10-3 win. The loss drops Roosevelt Trail into the loser’s bracket where it will take on Orwigsburg tomorrow at 2 p.m. at East Snyder Park.
“We just played our ball and put good at bats together like we normally do,” Roosevelt Trail coach Chris Norton said. “We ran his pitch count up, but then it seems like we kind of got away from that later in the game.”
Isaac Shaffter reached in the opening inning when he drew a seven-pitch walk off Keystone’s Jake Weaver. Kenny Mapes, who finished with two hits, drove a single into right field. Hunter House hit a single to score Shaffer and give Roosevelt Trail its first run of the game.
House struck Keystone’s top three hitters out in order to end the first inning of the game with Roosevelt Trial’s lead intact. The offense then added two more runs in the second to give House a three-run cushion.
“I really feel like if we come back through, we really have a good shot at those guys,” Norton said. “There’s not doubt in my mind. We have more heart than that. I don’t know what happened today.”
Jake Weaver started the game and had trouble locating pitches. He walked a batter in the first who eventually scored. He then opened the second inning with three straight walks before being pulled for Seltzer.
“He was down on himself and he couldn’t find the strike zone really well,” Keystone manager Brad Mahoney said.
Weaver, normally one of the more easy-going kids on the Keystone, struggled to get strikes. When Mahoney came out for his second visit, Weaver handed the ball over. He didn’t hang his head. He moved to his position in the field and got ready. Jase Seltzer entered and got a quick out before his infield turned a double-play to get out of inning.
“It’s hard, because if they get one hit, they’re going to score two runs,” Seltzer said. “You just have to battle back, throw hard, and don’t give up any runs.”
Weaver might have been down, but it didn’t show in the bottom of the second when he got Keystone on the board with a lead-off home run. Weaver rounded the bases and looked like his usual, positive self as his teammates slapped him on the helmet.
After struggling throughout most of the game, Keystone’s top three hitters in the order finally got back to form in the fifth. Griffin Kerstetter, Seltzer, and Zach St. Clair, who came on as a pinch-hitter, all recorded singles. Weaver and Donevan Seyler hit doubles and Isiah Maldonado hit a single as Keystone pushed its lead to seven runs.
“We repeat to them over and over that today might not be your day,” Mahoney said. “You just have to keep going to hit. Major League Baseball players get paid millions for 1-for-4 days. We just tell tell them to keep battling. It was great to see them come through and get hits, because the top of our order really struggled.”
Kerstetter came on in the sixth to record the final three outs.