Legion setback: Beverly/Lowell falls to Cambridge in 16-8 slugfest
By Jordan Holland
The Marietta Times
CAMBRIDGE – If you’d have told Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 head coach Todd Engle that his club would score eight runs and pound out 12 hits against Cambridge Post 84 in the opening round of the district tournament Wednesday at Don Coss Field, he’d have felt pretty confident in his team’s chances.
Unfortunately for Beverly/Lowell, 18 hits allowed and seven fielding errors led to 16 runs for Cambridge, putting Post 389/750 in the loser’s bracket of the tourney. It will look to keep its season alive today against either St. Clairsville or Zanesville in an elimination game at 7:30 p.m. at Don Coss Field.
“We’ll just try to build on the positives, the way we hit the ball,” Engle said. “We’ve been in this position before, where we found ourselves in the loser’s bracket and shown we can get out.”
The game was knotted up at 1-1 going into the third inning. Zack Roe led off the top of third with a bunt base hit. Ryan Lovette followed with a sacrifice bunt, but an error allowed him to reach safely and Roe to advance on to third. Dillon Sunnafrank then cashed in with an RBI-single to right field to plate Roe before Matt Tom grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought home Lovette to make it a 3-1 game.
Engle’s squad had a big opportunity go by the wayside in the bottom of the fourth. After Gunnar Smith was hit by a pitch, Justin Greer doubled to right-center to put runners at second and third with one out. However, Cambridge starter Ben Standiford buckled down and recorded a strikeout and a lineout to center to escape unscathed.
After a quiet fourth inning for Beverly/Lowell, Cambridge began to pull away in the fifth.
With one away in the frame, Sunnafrank cranked a solo home run to left field to make it 4-1. Later in the inning, with two on and one out, back-to-back singles by James Luyster and Ben Van Wey plated a total of three runs to put Beverly/Lowell in a 7-1 hole.
Post 389/750 got two of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Lance Schafer hit a fly ball deep enough to right field to drive in Devin Leister and send Ethan Estes to third. With two outs, Jake Ullman, who was on first, intentionally got into a rundown which allowed Estes to cross the plate before Ullman finally got tagged out to end the inning.
That’s as close as it would get as Cambridge tallied nine total runs in the final three innings to put it away.
Beverly/Lowell’s last hoorah came in the bottom of the eighth when Greer launched a homer over the fence and Estes struck for a two-run double, but it wasn’t enough to get back into the contest.
“We ran into a more experienced team,” Engle said. “We get behind like that at 7-1 and you just try to keep chipping away. We got two there to make it 7-3, but every time it seemed like they’d go out and get three to our two.”
Evan Sawyer went 4.2 innings and gave up seven runs (four earned) to take the mound loss. Standiford threw 6.2 innings, striking out four and walking one to earn the victory.
“These kids have shown they can bounce back,” Engle said.
“We’ve got Ben (Barnas) on the mound (today). It should be a good game. We’re gonna have to do a little better than what we did (Wednesday).”