BevLo still alive after loss at state tourney

Photo by MIKE MORRISON, The Marietta Times Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 manager Todd Engle holds a mound conference during his team’s 3-2 eight-inning loss to Circleville Post 134 during the Ohio American League Baseball state tournament Thursday in Lancaster.

LANCASTER– Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 certainly had their opportunities in Thursday evening’s winners bracket bout against Circleville Post 134 at the Ohio American Legion state baseball tournament at Beavers Field in Lancaster.

Post 389/750 stranded 11 baserunners in the game and in the end those missed chances came back to haunt them as Circleville scored a walk-off 3-2 win in eight innings.

Nick Sayler played the role of hero for the Panthers as he came on in relief to get a pair of key outs in the top of the seventh inning and then lined a single into right center field to plate Brett Carson with the game winning run in the eighth.

Beverly/Lowell sent Kam Hesson and his perfect 9-0 record to the mound and the lanky Caldwell Redskin right-hander retired the side in order before allowing Circleville to get on the board in the last of the second inning.

Panther pitcher Noah Cline got things started by collecting a base-hit, but was forced out at second base for the first out of the inning.

Salyer lined out to right field for the second out of the inning before Travis Grim doubled off the fence in deep left-center field to score catcher Chris Conrad with the first run of the game.

The usually potent Post 389/750 bats were very quiet early on as Cline retired the first six batters he faced before escaping trouble in the top of the third.

Tanner Neal led off the frame for B/L with a single but was gunned down by Conrad attempting to steal second base.

One out later Luke Nelson walked, Tate Engle singled and Drew Huffman walked before Cline got Tyler Bradford to ground out to end the inning and strand all three base runners.

Post 389/750 did manage to break through in the top of the fourth inning as they plated what would turn out to be their only two runs of the game.

All the damage came after there were two outs as third baseman Konnor Roberts singled and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.

Neal grounded a single into right field to score Roberts with the tying run and second baseman Nate Brothers followed with a long double deep down the left field line that would score Roberts to give BevLow a 2-1 lead.

Hesson found his groove as he retired 11-of-12 Circleville batters and carried the 2-1 lead into the last of the sixth inning before the Panthers tied things up.

Consecutive basehits by Brett Carson, Cline and Conrad accounted for the run but Hesson rebounded to retire the next two batters and keep the score knotted at 2-2.

Post 389/750 stranded a pair of base runners in the sixth inning and then missed a great chance to break the tie in the top of the seventh.

Huffman got things started with a one-out single before Bradford drew a walk.

Circleville elected to bring Salyer into pitch and the hard throwing righty fanned a pair of hitters to end the Beverly/Lowell threat.

Neither team would threaten again until Circleville ended things in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Hesson got the first out of the inning before Carson crushed a ball to deep center field that barely got over the out stretched glove of Beverly/Lowell center fielder Luke Nelson for a triple.

Post 389/750 head coach Todd Engle elected to walk the next two batters intentionally to set up a force out at any base but Salyer jumped all over the first pitch he saw from Hesson and drove the ball into right center field for the game-winning hit.

The loss drops Beverly/Lowell (34-9) into the Losers Bracket where they will take on Pemberville Post 183 this afternoon at 1 p.m while Circleville will take on Lancaster Post 11 at 7 p.m.