BEVERLY - Paced by a pair of firsts, Beverly/ Lowell Post 389/750 shutout Zanesville Post 29 Wednesday night at Fort Frye High School by the final score of 7-0.
Starting pitcher Kordell Antil fired a four-hit shut out in his first ever legion start and shortstop Jake Ullman connected on his first ever home run to pace Beverly Lowell to its first win of the 2012 season.
Antil, who fought off a case of the pre-game jitters, struck out six batters while walking just one, as he managed to keep the ball down in the strike zone and the Zanesville hitters off balance.
"He (Antil) had pretty good stuff," said Beverly Lowell head coach Todd Engle. "Once he got settled down and found that he could roll some ground balls he was outstanding."
Zanesville threatened in the first off of Antil, but the right hander induced a 6-4-3 double play to keep Post 29 off of the scoreboard.
Beverly/Lowell, who struggled with execution in their season opening double header loss to Pickerington, executed to perfection in the first inning to score three times.
BEVERLY LOWELL POST 389/750 7
ZANESVILLE (POST 29) 0
Zanesville 000 000 0 - 0-4-1
Beverly Lowell 320 110 x - 7-5-3
WP: Kordell Antil: 7IP, 4H, BB, 6K.
LP: Bush: 4IP, 3H, 6ER, 4BB, 2K, Bender: 2IP, 2H, ER, 4BB, 5K.
Zanesville Top Hitters: Maxwell: 2-4, Miller: 1-3, Mautz: 1-3.
Beverly Lowell Top Hitters: Jake Ullman: 1-2, R, RBI, HR, Tim Grosel: 1-3, R, RBI, Eli Lenington: 1-3, 2R, Tyler Proctor: 1-1, 2R, RBI, SF, Clay Ullman: 1-2, Jordan Satterfield: 0-2, 2RBI, Wes Hatfield: 0-2, R.
Beverly Lowell Next Game: Friday at Cambridge (DH)
Lead off man Tim Grosel got things started with a lead off single and moved into scoring position when Eli Lenington beat out a bunt single.
Engle may have caught Zanesville by surprise when power-hitting third baseman Tyler Proctor laid down a bunt and the throw to third was too late to get Grosel to load the bases.
Clay Ullman and Landon Kern followed with base on balls that forced in the game's first two runs and an RBI ground out by second baseman Jordan Satterfield made it 3-0.
Jake Ullman led off the second inning with a drive over the left field fence for the first home run of his career and the first homer of the year for Beverly/Lowell.
The home run caught Ullman by surprise as he ran hard to first base thinking that the left fielder had made the catch.
"It was a fastball that was left up belt high and truthfully I thought I was out because everybody was cheering," said Ullman. "Then I saw the umpire waving. It felt pretty good."
Beverly/Lowell added another run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Proctor to make it 5-0.
With the five-run lead to work with Antil seemed to relax on the mound as he allowed only two balls to leave the infield the entire game.
Three of the four Zanesville base hits were of the infield variety as only Matt Maxwell's first inning single made it to the out field.
"I was able to keep the ball down nice and low," said Antil. "They hit a lot of grounders and I trust my guys on defense and they did a great job."
Beverly Lowell added a pair of insurance runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Grosel delivered a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Satterfield drew a walk with the base loaded in the fifth to make it 7-0.
Antil allowed a two-out walk in the top of the seventh but got Maxwell to pop out to second to end the game and preserve the shutout. Engle was much more pleased with his team's performance than he was on Monday and expects the improvement to continue as the season progresses.
"We had some really good things come out of this game. Some good things to build on," said Engle. "I'm pleased with the outcome and pleased with the effort from our kids."
Beverly/Lowell will continue its grueling first week of the 2012 season Friday night when it travels to Cambridge for a doubleheader, before returning home for twin bills on both Saturday and Sunday.