If Beverly/Lowell skipper Todd Engle and his coaching staff wanted to, they could select one of four starting pitchers by the "Ee-nee-mee-nee-my-nee-mo," method - and not regret their decision.
Zach Eddy, Kordell Antill, Ben Barnas, and Evan Sawyer each would be a good choice to toe the rubber in Post 389/750's American Legion state tournament baseball opener against Wayne County Post 68/147/282 at Al Beavers Field in Lancaster at 10 a.m. today. Wayne County was the runner-up in District 10.
If Beverly Lowell beats Wayne, it'll play Whitehouse Post 384 at 4 p.m. today at the same field.
If, however, B/L loses its first game, it won't play until Tuesday in an elimination game at a time and field to be announced.
The other baseball diamonds in the tournament are located at Fisher Catholic High and Lancaster High.
Engle said he would meet with his coaching staff to decide who would throw against Wayne.
American Legion state tournament field
at Al Beavers Field, Fisher Catholic High, Lancaster High in Lancaster
- District 1: Whitehouse Post 384
- District 2: Lima Post 96
- District 3: Troy Post 43
- District 5: Sandusky Post 83
- District 6: Mount Vernon Post 136
- District 7: Circleville Post 134
- District 8: Pickerington Post 283
- District 10: Steubenville Post 33, Wayne County Posts 68, 147, 282
- District 11: Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750
- Northeast District (9/13/14): Berea/Strongsville Post 91/795
"You've got to like my pitching staff," said Engle after Beverly/Lowell (36-4) clinched a state berth with a 12-1 triumph over Cambridge Post 84 in a District 11 final at Fort Frye High on July 21.
Eddy, Antill and Barnas are all righties while Sawyer is a southpaw. Of the four, only Eddy has state tournament experience. The other three will be making their first appearance at the main event. Even so....
"We think we can make some noise this year (at state)," Engle continued. "I'm planning on it anyway."
Against Cambridge, Eddy (7-1, 2.82 ERA) threw six innings to get the win, and Barnas (8-2, 4.04 ERA) wrapped it up with a one-two-three seventh frame. Antill (11-0, 1.54 ERA) and Sawyer (6-0, 2.72 ERA) haven't hurled in a game in a couple of weeks, so B/L's staff on the whole will be well-rested when state tourney play begins.
Last season, Beverly/Lowell went two-and-out at state dropping a 14-11 decision to JB Yeager (Harrison) Post 199, and then a 10-2 decision to Worthington Post 239. Neither Harrison or Worthington are in the 2012 field.
But 2011 state-runner-up Pickerington Post 283 is.
"The amazing thing is we got beat by two travel teams from Michigan in Troy (on June 8-10)," Engle said. "We've only been beat by one Legion team all year and that was opening day when Pickerington beat us twice."
Since dropping a season-opening doubleheader to Pickerington on Memorial Day, Beverly/Lowell has won 36 of 38 games, including a current 27-game winning streak.
Beverly/Lowell's position starters in the state opener are expected to be Eli Lenington (1b), Ethan Estes (rf), Tyler Proctor (3b), Landon Kern (c), Clay Ullman (rf), Jake Ullman (ss), Tim Grosel (cf), Wes Hatfield (dh) and Jordan Satterfield (2b).
Offensively, Proctor, a Warren graduate and current Ohio Valley University Fighting Scot, is the team's big stick with a .514 batting average, nine home runs and 73 RBIs. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage is 1.533.
Proctor also has a team-leading 27 doubles.
Kern, who hits behind Proctor, is batting .465 with one home run, 13 doubles and 50 RBIs.
Clay Ullman is the team's second leading run producer with 55 RBIs. He's also hitting .427 with two home runs and 11 doubles.
Rounding out the rest of the Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 roster are Nick Spurr, Justin Futrell, Dustin Duffey, Gunnar Smith, and Austin Campbell.