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No. 1 Keyser beats Fort Hill, 5-0; Rotruck has 4 hits, drives in 4

Apr. 11—POTOMAC PARK — Baseball games often come down to who can find timely hits with runners on base: Keyser did on Wednesday, and Fort Hill did not.

Keyser catcher Logan Rotruck had four RBI base hits, including two doubles, and the Golden Tornado continued their winning ways with a 5-0 triumph over Fort Hill — their ninth victory in a row.

Pitcher Patrick Liller took a Steven Spencer line drive off the leg the first batter he faced, and the Keyser right-hander stayed in the game and tossed five shutout innings of six-hit ball to earn the victory.

Noah Broadwater threw two perfect frames in relief to earn the save.

"Another good pitching performance," Keyser head coach Scott Rohrbaugh said. "His knee was sore, but he ground it out, put in five good innings. Got out of a couple jams. They had opportunities, but he was able to get out. Noah was pretty good in relief."

Both sides entered with momentum. Keyser (9-1) was coming off a 3-2 win over county rival Frankfort, and Fort Hill (5-5) downed Northern, 9-4, on Tuesday — the Sentinels' first victory over the Huskies in 11 years.

The Sentinels had a hit in each of the first five innings and were only out-hit 8-6, but they couldn't find one with runners on base.

"Couldn't string together any solid hits back-to-back," Fort Hill head coach Tanner Brode said. "We would have them too spaced out. Made things a little difficult to manufacture runs.

"They got hits when they needed to get hits, and we didn't capitalize in situations like that."

Rotruck had an RBI double in the first, an RBI single in the third, an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI single in the seventh.

The lone Keyser run that didn't come off Rotruck's bat crossed in the fifth after a Chase Davis liner to right field was bobbled on a hop, allowing Broadwater to score one of his three runs. Davis scored the other two.

Freshman Carson Bender took the loss despite a solid performance. The right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk in six innings pitched.

If there was one area for Fort Hill to improve upon in the field, then it would be in retiring the lead-off batter.

Four of the five Keyser runs that scored reached base to start off an inning. The three times the Sentinels retired the first batter to begin a frame, Keyser was not able to score.

"That's one thing we've been preaching to our guys, you can't give up free bases," Brode said. "We've done really well at it the last 2 or 3 games, but it wasn't the case today. We kind of back-tracked a little bit."

Fort Hill made five errors to just one for Keyser. The Tornado turned a double play in the first inning.

Both catchers had a caught stealing. Rotruck threw out a would-be base-stealer in the fifth, and the Sentinels' Jake Rice erased one in the sixth.

Broadwater finished 2 for 3 at the plate and stole two bases. Spencer was 2 for 4, Logan Vanmeter doubled and Cam'Ron Davis singled twice.

Colt Resh threw a scoreless inning in relief for Fort Hill.

Keyser hosts Liberty in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. Fort Hill is at Southern (4-2) on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

"We have a good bunch of kids," Rohrbaugh said of his team's nine-game winning streak. "They like each other. They get along with each other. Of course, when you're winning, you have momentum, but it's still one win at a time. Chapin (Jewell) asked me the same thing last night, and I said, 'Wait until May to ask me that.'"

Alex Rychwalski is a sports reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @arychwal.