STEUBENVILLE - A big second inning and a puzzle named Evan Sawyer were too much for Steubenville Post 33 to overcome as visiting Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 claimed a 6-2 win in a nine-inning affair at Vaccaro Field.
Sawyer went the distance for Beverly/Lowell, striking out nine Steubenville batters, walking none to go with two hit batsmen.
"He just came back from vacation and he kept telling me 'I'm strong coach, I'm strong'," said Beverly/Lowell head coach Todd Engle. "I was going to take him out in the sixth inning. He had his pitch count up, and said 'coach I haven't thrown for a week and a half, I'm really strong'. We're now 9-10 and he's lost two games this year 2-1 so I knew he wanted the ball. I joked with him I didn't want his mom coming after me after the game because I don't know what his pitch count was, but it had to be about 120.
Photo courtesy of Fred Younce
Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 ’s Lance Schafer rounds third on his way to score during fourth-inning American Legion baseball action against host Steubenville Post 33 Tuesday night. B/L won 6-2.
"I never let pitchers go over 100, but he wanted the ball, I gave it to him, and I'm happy for him. He's a good kid."
He received all support he'd need by way of a three-run top of the second. Gunner Smith, Terrance Mayle, Jordan Satterfield, Devin Leister, and Austin Campbell all ripped singles in the frame with Smith, Mayle, and Satterfield all finding their way home.
"That second inning they had some balls find holes, they got three runs, and that was pretty much the difference in the game right there," said Post 33 head coach Don Young. "We never really found a rhythm. It was close in hits, but there kid didn't walk anybody though. We just couldn't get the timely hit."
Beverly/Lowell 6, Steubenville 2
Beverly/Lowell 031 100 100 - 6 11 2
Steubenville 002 000 000 - 2 8 3
BEVERLY/LOWELL (9-10): Sawyer (WP, 9K, 0BB) and Smith. Schafer R; Estes R; Sullman 2S; Smith D, S, 2R; Mayle 3S, R; Satterfield 2S, R; Leister S; Campbell S.
STEUBENVILLE (14-4): Corsi (LP, 2K, 0BB), Murphy (4th, 2K, 2BB), Porreca (8th, 2K, 1BB) and McClurg. Pierro S, R; Mihalyo 2S, R; Colabella S, RBI; Panella 2S, RBI; Linn 2S.
Added Engle, "That's been out problem all year, as far as stringing hits together. This was probably our best performance this year offensively. I usually stay in the dugout, but, since out first base coach wasn't here I was out there. I enjoyed that. I got a little sweat up, and the kids were kind of laughing, joking 'I've never seen coach move like that'.
"All in all it was a great night against a great opponent."
After Smith scored in the top third to make the score 4-0, Post 33 found success against Sawyer in the bottom of the frame. Steubenville scored both runs and connected for four of its eight hits. Bryan Pierro, Steve Mihalyo, Brenton Colabella, and Jimmy Panella hit consecutive singles with Pierro scoring on Colabella's hit and Mihalyo scoring off Panella's bat.
That was all for the Post 33 offense and Post 389/750 added insurance runs in the fourth and seventh innings to create the 6-2 final score.
"He (Sawyer) was pretty good," said Young. "Even our hits we didn't get any real good swings on him. We had eight hits, but we didn't have an extra base hit. We weren't finding too many gaps.
"That's part of our problem here so far, we couldn't get an extra hit when we needed it."
Justin Corsi was tagged with the loss, going three innings with two strikeouts and no walks. Chris Murphy threw the fourth through seventh innings with two strikeouts and two walks. Aleks Porreca struck out two and walked one over the final two frames.
"We have to be able to plate more runs," said Young. "We have to find ways to score more runs. Take that one inning out and I thought our pitchers did a real nice job.
"That's a solid team, they went to the state tournament last year, they're very talented, but we have to not just hit the ball, but score more runs."
Steubenville (14-4) hosts Wheeling today while Beverly/Lowell heads up river to Toronto.