BEVERLY - Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 squandered an early 3-0 lead before rallying for a 9-7 victory Saturday afternoon in the first game of a double header against Parkersburg Post 15.
BevLow (23-12) also won the nightcap, 11-5.
Trailing 3-0 heading to the third inning, Parkersburg (18-14) scored four unearned runs in the top half of the inning to briefly take a 4-3 lead and chase Beverly/Lowell starting pitcher Phillip Hoffman from the mound.
MIKE MORRISON The Marietta Times
BevLow’s Lance Schafer, left, slides head first safely into homeplate as Parkersburg catcher Jordan Braniff tags late during American Legion baseball action in Beverly Saturday.
With one out, Parkersburg leadoff man Rex Winland got things going by drawing a walk and moved to second on a single by Lucas Goodwin.
Catcher Jordan Braniff reached base on a B/L fielding error to score Winland before Devon Crews tied things up at three apiece with a solid double to left center field.
Parkersburg took advantage of the second Beverly/Lowell error of the inning when first baseman Derek Layton misplayed a ground ball off the bat of Adam McCray to allow Crews to score with the go-ahead run.
BEVERLY LOWELL (Post 389/750) 9 PARKERSBURG (Post 15) 7
Parkersburg 004 020 1 7-7-1
Beverly/Lowell 302 301 x 9-12-3
LP: Jacob Braniff: 4 IP, 9H, 8ER, 4BB, Eli Gray 2IP, 3H, ER, K. Top Hitters: Devon Crews 2-4, 2R, 2RBI, 2B, Gray 2-4, 2R, 2B, Lucas Goodwin 1-3, R, Adam McCray 1-3, Cole Parker 1-4, 2RBI, Jordan Braniff 0-4, R, Josh Stephens 0-4, RBI.
Beverly Lowell (22-12)
WP: Justin Hill: 2IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, Phillip Hoffman (Starter) 3IP, 3H, 4R, ER, 2BB, 4K, Save: Blake Kidder: 2IP, 2H, ER. Top Hitters: Lance Schafer: 3-4, R, 3RBI, Jake Ullman 2-3, 2R, Kyler Dennis 2-3, RBI, Gunnar Smith 1-2, 3RBI, Ethan Estes 1-3, 2R, Derek Layton 1-2, 2R, RBI, Bryce Gandee 1-4, Isaac Huffman 1-2, Kidder 0-3, 2R.
"We have been playing really well defensively and this was probably as bad as we have played in some time," said B/L head coach Todd Engle, noting that his team played error free baseball in Thursday evening's double header sweep over St. Mary's. "We've definitely got to get things cleaned up here in the next week."
Beverly/Lowell had claimed the early 3-0 lead by string together a pair of walks and four base hits in the opening inning against Parkersburg starting pitcher Jacob Braniff.
Jake Ullman drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a base hit by Ethan Estes.
One out later Layton walked to load the bases and Lance Schafer plated a pair of runs with a solid single to left field.
Catcher Gunnar Smith followed with an RBI single of his for the third run of the first frame.
After surrendering the lead, B/L would waste little time jumping back in front as they scored twice in the last of the third.
Kidder and Layton drew back-to-back walks against Braniff and those base-on-balls would come back to haunt the Parkersburg pitcher as they both came around to score on a ground out by Smith and a sacrifice fly by Kyler Dennis.
Beverly/Lowell opened up a little bit of distance between themselves and Post 15 when they scored three more times in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Isaac Huffman and Ullman began the inning with back-to-back singles and Estes was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
After Kidder bounced into a fielders choice, Layton continued his ability to hit with runners in scoring position by lacing a line drive single to left to make it a 6-4 game.
Schafer collected three hits on the day including a line drive single to score another run and Smith picked up his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to make It 8-4.
"Lance (Schafer) has played well for us all season long," said Engle of his centerfielder.
"He has been in a little hitting slump here lately but it's great to see him start to swing the bat again."
Parkersburg got two of those runs back off of Justin Hill in the fifth inning when Cole Parker came up with a clutch two-out, two run single to cut the lead to a pair of runs.
Beverly/Lowell strung together a two-out rally in the last of the sixth to add an insurance run when Schafer singled, moved to second when Smith walked and scored when Dennis' single was misplayed by the Parkersburg outfield to make it a 9-6 game.
Kidder came on in relief for Post 389/750 and after tossing a perfect sixth inning, allowed a single run to Parkersburg in the top of the seventh before getting Parker to fly out to left field to end the game.
Hill gained the win for Beverly/Lowell while Kidder was credited with the save, while Braniff was charged with the loss for Post 15.