Beverly/Lowell to play for state title today

Faces Wayne County at 1 p.m. in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Ohio — Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 will play for a state title today.

The Todd Engle-coached legion baseball team won a pair of games Saturday to advance to today’s state championship game against Wayne County Post 68, which starts at 1 p.m. at Beavers Field.

Wayne County was the first team Beverly/Lowell defeated, 9-4, before the Washington County-based club came back later in the evening to eliminate Sidney Post 217, 6-3.

Brett Gandee got the start in the nightcap and gave a quality effort. Gandee pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six batters.

Gandee allowed the first run of the game in the top of the second. Kurtis Rutschilling led off with a double and scored on Bryce Kennedy’s single to right field. Later in the inning, with runners on the corners and two outs, Gandee fanned Brandan Rose to escape further damage.

Beverly/Lowell quickly tied things up in the bottom of the second. Maeson Long drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Nate Brothers’ single to left. Brothers was 3 for 3 at the plate in the game.

Post 389/750 added two more runs in the third. Tate Engle drew a one-out walk before Tyler Bradford’s single to right field was misplayed and allowed Engle to score all the way from first. Bradford scored to make it 3-1 on Clayton Cook’s RBI single.

Sidney got within one in the fifth when Mitchell Larger scored on Evan Monnier’s grounder, but Beverly/Lowell answered with a three-spot in the bottom of the fifth to go up 6-2. Bradford doubled to lead off the inning and eventually came in to score along with Cook on Seth Dennis’ two-run single. Dennis later scored on Long’s RBI base knock.

Jake Siegle brought in a run on a fielder’s choice in the sixth to make it 6-3, but Gandee shut things down from there.

Monnier took the loss on the hill, going 4 1/3 innings with three walks and one strikeout.

Earlier in the day, Beverly/Lowell handed Wayne County its first loss of the tournament.

Bradford drove in four runs in the game, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. He added an RBI in the third inning before Dennis, Kurt Taylor, Long and Brothers all knocked in a run apiece. That made the score 7-0.

Jay Luikart got Wayne County on the board in the top of the fourth with a solo homer off Beverly/Lowell starter Connor Counterman, who allowed just two runs in six innings to earn the victory.

Bradford brought in another run on a fielder’s choice in the sixth before Cook plated a run to make it 9-2.

Wayne County scratched across two runs in the seventh but couldn’t get any closer.

The two teams will meet again for the Ohio crown. Beverly/Lowell lost in the state championship to Circleville last year.