A lead-off single from Colton Wagner helped to ensure that Stark would see one final at-bat as arguably the most feared hitter in the Keystone lineup. Dylan Devlin set down Benny Knecht and Kaden Falls to bring Stark to the plate as Keystone's last hope.
Down three and with one runner on base, Stark could not tie the game with one swing but he tried to, blasting a two-run home run to deep center field to cut the South Columbia lead to one, 11-10.
Zane Probst grounded out to preserve a South Columbia win that was anything but straightforward.
South Columbia scored four in the top of the fifth to take the lead.
Dylan Devlin tied the game at eight with a single down the line, scoring Jacob Reifer from first on the play, who was hustling from the crack of the bat.
After Devlin and Zach Smith scored to push the lead to 10-8, Ben Montgomery laced a triple to center. Montgomery scored on a Trystan Crawford single and Montgomery was the offensive catalyst for South Columbia.
Montgomery struggled on the mound in 4 1/3 innings but found no such hiccups at the plate, going 3-for-4, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Early in the game, it appeared that South Columbia and Keystone were starting a pitchers' duel between Montgomery and Colton Wagner. Neither team pushed across a run in the first two innings despite both teams having a runner 60 feet away.
South Columbia broke the scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the third, nearly scoring three as Montgomery was thrown out on a play at the plate to end the inning.
South Columbia plated five runs in the fourth inning, but consecutive four-run frames by Keystone gave them a one-run advantage.
In the fourth, home runs by Montgomery and Eli Morrison helped South Columbia regain the lead.
South Columbia will play Upper Dauphin today at 5:30 back at Pineknotter Park; they'll need to beat Upper Dauphin twice to earn the section title.