Undefeated in Patriot Athletic Conference play, Keystone feels like it’s just getting started.
Riding hot bats and heads-up baserunning, Keystone (15-2) skated past Wellington (11-6) 11-0 on Tuesday.
The Wildcats improved to 11-0 in the PAC, extending their lead in the Stars Division. Wellington stayed put in fourth place with a 7-5 record.
“We have a lot of confidence going forward but we’re still looking at each game one by one, we aren’t looking too far ahead,” Keystone pitcher Kyler Yusko said. “It’s really nice that we’re hitting our stride now just because hopefully we can carry this momentum into the playoffs.”
The Wildcats pounced early, scoring three runs in the first inning.
Keystone managed only one hit in the inning, but a locked-in mentality led to success. Cameron Emerick, Michael Mileski and Nick Compton walked consecutively, and Kevin Mealwitz delivered with a bases-clearing double that gave the Wildcats a 3-0 lead and all the padding they needed for the remainder of the game.
“These guys have done a great job all year,” Keystone coach Bert Fitzgerald said. “Yesterday they (the Dukes) threw their ace and he did a really good job keeping us off-balance. Today was a little more straightforward, we’re older and we have a lot more varsity experience.”
Keystone won 6-0 Monday.
“It’s good to jump on them early,” Mealwitz said of Tuesday’s win. “Our pitchers will throw strikes and we won’t make errors in the field.”
The pitching for the Wildcats was on point as Yusko threw a two-hit, five-inning complete game. Yusko was given the early lead and never looked back.
“It makes it a lot easier when you have a lead just because you can go out there and throw strikes and your defense can make plays,” Yusko said.
Only weeks away from the playoffs, Keystone has its eyes on the prize and progressively gets closer as a team.
“They’re a good group, they work really hard in the spring,” Fitzgerald said. “We have a lot of varsity experience. The camaraderie is there and this is a nice group to be around.”
Wellington had self-inflicted wounds they were unable to overcome. Down 3-0 in the second inning, the Dukes surrendered four runs, three of which were unearned due to passed balls. Wellington also walked nine batters.
“You can’t defend the walk. When you put guys on base on free passes and those guys score, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Wellington coach Roger Sasack said. “We have a young ballclub, we have three or four freshman starting, three or four sophomores starting. We’re going through growing pains.”
The Dukes have only two seniors on the roster and look to make losses like the one Tuesday a learning process.
“You look and watch how they (the Wildcats) go about their business on the field. That’s the way you learn from games like this,” Sasack said. “I thought we came out flat, I thought we came out lethargic.”