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Keystone Once Again Showing it’s More Than Just a Baseball Team and League

Keystone Once Again Showing it’s More Than Just a Baseball Team and League
Keystone’s Braylen Corter slaps five with fans and community members that came out to support Keystone as it played in the Section 3 Major Baseball Championship in Beech Creek. (Photo by Brett R. Crossley.)

As Keystone’s Major Baseball team made its way around the field to celebrate the Section 3 Championship the true depth of the league was on display. Parents were there to enjoy the moment with their kids, but there were more supporters than just parents. The community rallied for the kids, set fireworks off at the

As Keystone’s Major Baseball team made its way around the field to celebrate the Section 3 Championship the true depth of the league was on display.

Parents were there to enjoy the moment with their kids, but there were more supporters than just parents. The community rallied for the kids, set fireworks off at the end, and gave the team a memory it will hold on to for quite some time. It was a special moment.

For Keystone, it was just another day on the diamond. The community and the baseball team are tightly woven together. There is no shortage of support and the fans, players, and parents are all thankful for it.

“It’s part of what makes this league and group of players so special,” Keystone manager Patrick Johnson said. “It’s a baseball town. There’s just such a baseball culture here. Everybody plays and the coaches take it seriously developing talent and not letting kids slip through. We find out what kids can do well and we work on the rest with them.”

Another feature of the team that has grown to become something its known for is the players use of nicknames. There’s “Julio” for Gardner Fravel, “Bob” for Dallas Alexander, and “Taco” for Levi Schlesinger just to name a few.

The team has played together or against one another since their first years in the league and the tightness formed over those years is clear.

“We’ve just been close since we were seven,” Fravel said. “My coach gave me a nickname when I was younger and we’ve just kept it going.”

When Braylen Corter hit the first of two home runs for Keystone in the Section 3 Championship his teammates raced out to meet him. Each and every one was there for the celebration. They also carried out their stuffed moose, which has become a mascot for the team.

The mascot has been with the team since the beginning of the District 12 Tournament. It makes an appearance after home runs and always has a spot in the dugout besides one of the players. It has become a rallying point for the team.

“It’s very important. It’s our team mascot,” Fravel said. “It makes us happy and when we bring out the moose it just gets everybody excited.”

Throughout the District, Section, and even into the start of the State Tournament Keystone will be supported. They were the biggest draw at the District level as fans surrounded the fields with the team’s signature blue and white.

When the Section 3 Tournament started Keystone’s support was on full display as motor homes lined the outfield and fans arrived at the game hours before the first pitch.
In the run up to the championship Keystone’s supporters had one last chance to show their support for the team. A brutal night of rain showers soaked the field and put the championship in jeopardy of not being played that day. The community rallied and kept a grounds crew at the field all day to help get it ready for the championship. The reward was getting to watch their team celebrate the league’s sixth Section 3 Major Baseball Championship.

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