BEVERLY - It is a rare occurrence when Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 plays a complete game, as it has ended a number of its games early via the mercy rule this season.
There would be no mercy Tuesday night, but the Todd Engle-led club did defeat Zanesville Post 29 by a score of 2-0 at Fort Frye Stadium to advance to the District 11 championship on Friday.
The game was the definition of a pitcher's duel, as both guys on the hill went the distance for their teams. Kordell Antill pitched a complete game shutout, with seven strikeouts and two walks to pick up the win. Brandon Stotts also pitched a complete game, but could not quite match Antill in zeros, as he allowed two earned runs and was tagged with the loss. Stotts had six punch outs and just one free pass.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Beverly/Lowell’s Tyler Proctor rounds third base after homering in the fourth inning. The B/L slugger is congratulated by third base coach Steve Riley.
Antill threw under 100 pitches in the effort, and improved his record to 11-0 on the season.
"He was an absolute find for us," Engle said. "He's having the time of his life. He had an inning where he threw 21 pitches and had two walks, which is really unlike him. He settled down after that. Guys have gotten into the habit of feeling like once we get him a couple runs, we feel like we're home free. I could go on about him all day."
Beverly/Lowell got Antill some run support in the fourth and fifth innings. Tyler Proctor, the team's big bat all year long, led off the fourth inning with a no-doubt solo shot to left field to start the scoring. Landon Kern and Clay Ullman followed with back to back singles to left field, but Stotts was able to get three pop ups in a row to get out of the inning.
Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 2,
Zanesville Post 29 0
At Fort Frye High
Beverly/Lowell 000 110 000 - 2 7 2
Zanesville 000 000 000 - 0 5 1
WP: Antill (11-0) 9 IP, 7 SO, 2 BB
LP: Stotts 9 IP, 6 SO, 1 BB
Beverly/Lowell hitters: Proctor 3-4, 1 run, 2 RBI, HR; Kern 2-3; C. Ullman 1-4; Hatfield 1-3, 1 run
Zanesville hitters: Ryan Braglin 1-4; Murray 1-4; Maxwell 1-4; Ritchey 1-1; Brian Lefever 1-3
Next game: Zanesville vs. Cambridge on Thursday; Beverly/Lowell vs. Zanesville/Cambridge on Friday at Fort Frye Stadium
Wes Hatfield led off the top of the fifth inning for Post 389/750 with a single to left-center field. One out later, Hatfield stole second, and then advanced to third on a ground out by Ethan Estes. Even with first base open, Zanesville elected to pitch to Proctor, and it came back to bite them. Proctor laced a single down the left field line to bring in Hatfield and give Beverly/Lowell a 2-0 cushion.
Engle was concerned with the offensive production, but gave credit to Stotts.
"I have to hand it to the pitcher," Engle said. "He handcuffed us all game. He pitched against us in a game last year and beat us. So some of the guys had experience against him, but the younger guys had never seen him before. They were kind of baffled. We'll get it straightened out."
For Post 29, the biggest scoring threat came in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Drew Murray led off with a bloop single to right. Jim Moore followed by grounding into a fielder's choice. Murray was thrown out at second, and in an attempt to turn the double play, the throw got by the first baseman and allowed Moore to get to second. Matt Maxwell then came up and singled to left, but Hatfield got to it quickly to keep Moore at third.
With pinch hitter Drew Ritchey at the plate, Maxwell attempted to steal second. When Kern threw to second, Moore attempted to score. Second baseman Justin Futrell threw a strike back to Kern to nail the runner in plenty of time and preserve the shutout.
Zanesville will now play Cambridge on Thursday, and the winner will advance to play Beverly/Lowell on Friday. Should Beverly/Lowell win Friday, they will be the District 11 champions. If they lose, the two teams will play again on Saturday with the winner advancing to the state tournament.