FORT WHITE — The same problems did the Indians in again.
And big innings.
Keystone Heights got a complete game, one-hitter from Wyatt Harvin and a grand slam by Tyler Keaton to defeat Fort White, 6-1, Monday night.
The loss was Fort White’s seventh in its last eight and much different than the teams’ first meeting earlier this season, when Keystone Heights won 8-7 in extra innings.
“We had some physical and mental errors tonight,” Fort White head coach Rick Julius said. “We had one at third, had one at short, and then we had a pitcher not cover first on a double play, and that’s two runs there. We’ve just got to come to the ballpark with our minds right.”
Harvin took a no-hitter into the sixth before Brant Parker broke it up with an infield single. His only other blemishes were four walks, a hitter batter and a wild pitch that allowed Kyle Sharpe to score for Fort White’s only run.
But he stifled the Indians for a majority of the night, striking out nine batters.
“He’s their No. 1. He did a good job,” Julius said. “We helped him out in the beginning when he wasn’t getting the ball down, and we were swinging at our eyes so that kind of hurt us. But when we had guys in scoring position, we didn’t take the bat off our shoulders. You’ve got to swing the bat to score runs.”
Fort White (6-15) didn’t exactly help out its starting pitcher Cameron Hilbert as two errors in the third set up Keystone Heights’ first run of the night. After Willie Rogers reached first on an errant throw, he attempted to steal second and safely slid in when Fort White catcher Braden Haddox’s throw sailed into center field.
That allowed Rogers to jump up and advance to third. Pierson Lewis then grounded out to second base to score Rogers for a 1-0 lead.
Hilbert didn’t let it affect his play, though. He cruised through the next two innings before Keystone Heights (11-12) blew it open in the sixth.
Hilbert walked Lewis to begin the frame before surrendering back-to-back singles to Jarrett Fowler and Gage Hall to load the bases. That set the stage for Keaton, who deflated the Indians when he slammed a pitch over the wall in left-center field for four runs to extend Keystone Heights’ lead to 5-0.
“With the way we were swinging the bat, it felt like that was going to be enough for them,” Julius said. “I think [Hilbert] just missed his spot, and that kid is a good hitter.”
Hilbert then walked Jackson Hicks before giving up another single to Tyler Ricketts. Fort White’s infield then failed Hilbert again when its third error of the night allowed Hicks to score from third for a 6-0 lead.
The senior finished the sixth before being replaced by Jeremy Barber for the final inning. Hilbert was charged with six earned runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking two.
Barber gave up two more runs in the seventh on an RBI double to Hicks and an RBI single to Ricketts.
Fort White’s season finale is Thursday at home against Trenton before beginning the District 6-1A Tournament on Monday.