Keys High School baseball players celebrated after beating Westville in the regional finals, 12-0, on Friday evening at Keys field. The win qualified the Cougars for state.

The Keys High School baseball team run-ruled the Westville Yellow Jackets 12-0 in five innings to become the Class 3A Regional champions in Keys on Friday as its pitching and defense shut out each of their opponents throughout tournament.

The Cougars outscored each otheir regional opponents by a combined 35-0.

“We threw a ton of strikes and kept them off balance,” coach Chris Roby said. “Our pitchers were really focused, as well as our hitters.”

Jake Melencamp pitched the final shut out of the tournament with seven strikeouts and three hits in the game.

The scoring for Keys didn’t start until the second inning where Westville pitcher Jackie White walked the first two batters, Blake Blakley hit an RBI single followed by a two-RBI single by Bret Manus. The score after two innings was 3-0.

Trey Kimble scored the only run in the third inning with a double to center field and later found his way to home plate after an RBI single by Chance Ross.

The fourth inning produced three runs for the Cougars with a double by Manus, an RBI double by Jessie Billings and an RBI single by Melencamp. Melencamp was later picked off at first base. Then Kimble pounded out his third homer of the year to lead Keys to a 7-0 edge.

Blake Blakley smacked his tenth home run of the year to start off the fifth inning. Poor pitching and a fielding error by Westville loaded the bases and Melencamp brought them all in with his three-RBI triple. Melencamp scored next from a wild pitch and that was the twelfth run for the Cougars.

The Jackets had one last chance to put a score on the board, but the Cougar defense stopped them cold.

“We ran out of pitchers at the wrong time,” Westville coach Todd Smith said. “They’ve got a lot of seniors and we started four freshman and two sophomores. We’ll be back.”

“All year, the goal has been to go to the state tournament,” Roby said. “We’re at the right place at the right time.”

The Cougars were more than excited after the game as Kyle Nolan, Billings and Ross together stated that they were “elated” to be going to state.

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