Legion opener

BEVERLY – The schedule makers did Beverly Lowell Post 389/750 no favors when they chose back-to-back state champion Pickerington Post 283 as their opponent in their season opener.

Pickerington lived up to their billing as they came to Beverly on Memorial Day and swept Beverly/Lowell in a double header by scores of 6-2 and 9-4.

Third baseman Jordan Grubb homered in both games of the twin bill to pace Pickerington who got strong starting pitching performances by both Doug Connor and Johnny Putnam to dispose of a very young Beverly Lowell squad.

Grubb got the scoring underway in the second inning of the opener when he connected on a two-run homer off of 389/750 starting pitcher Phillip Hoffman.

Beverly Lowell got one of those runs back in the last of the first when Warren High School graduate and shortstop Ethan Estes deposited a Connor pitch over the left field fence to make it a 2-1 game.

The score would remain the same until inning number four when Pickerington sent eight hitters to the plate to chase Hoffman and score four times to take a 6-1 lead.

Connor held B/L in check the rest of his six innings on the mound as he allowed just one more hit before turning the ball over to Jake Newton for the final inning.

Post 389/750 threatened in the bottom of the seventh when with one out Blake Kidder walked and moved to second on a base hit off the bat of first baseman Austin Hefter.

After Turner Hill bounced into a fielders choice, Kyler Dennis singled to score Hefter before Newton got Isaac Huffman to line out to left field to end the game.

While it took Pickerington a few innings to get to Hoffman in the opener, they jumped all over left hander Justin Hill in the night cap as they batted around and scored four times.

Chris Brake got things started for Post 283 with a one out double and Newton followed with a walk.

Grubb plated the first run with a solid single to left field before Connor lined a run scoring single that got away from B/L centerfielder Lance Schafer allowing both runners to score.

Hill allowed a walk to to Steve Asbury and a base hit to Eric McClure to load the bases.

Beverly/Lowell head coach Todd Engle elected to pull Hill in favor of Chase Weihl who walked the very first hitter he faced to force in another run and make it a 4-0 game.

Post 389/750 avoided any more damage when right fielder Bryce Gandee threw a perfect strike to the dish to cut down Asbury trying to score from third base on a fly ball to right field.

Pickerington added a run in the third inning on an infield ground out before B/L got a sacrifice fly by Estes in the bottom half to cut the lead to 5-1.

Beverly/Lowell cut the lead to three in the last of the fourth on back-to-back walks to Hefter and Joel Estes before Kidder reached on a fielders choice to plate the second run.

Weihl did a very nice job in relief for Post 389/750 as he allowed just a pair of hits and a pair of earned runs in four and two third innings of work.

The second run came when Grubb connected once again for his second homerun of the double header.

Pickerington added three more runs in the final inning off of Warren High School’s Garrett Kennedy to take a commanding 9-2 lead into the last of the seventh.

Not to be outdone by Grubb, Ethan Estes connected on his second long ball of the afternoon with a runner on base to cut the lead to 9-4 before Zach Brake retired Schafer and Derek Layton both on hard hit balls to end the game.

Schafer paced the Beverly Lowell offense by connecting on three base hits in the double dipper while Estes knocked in four of the six runs scored by the Post 389/750 lineup.

Beverly Lowell will try once again to get that first win of the season Wednesday night when they play host to Circleville Post 134.