Beverly/Lowell sweeps DH from Athens

ATHENS – Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 third baseman Ethan Estes will probably welcome anytime if one of head coach Todd Engle’s sons want to give him a hitting tip.

Early in the season Estes went on a hitting tear after getting a few pointers from Engle’s son Trey.

This week, Engle’s son Tyler was in from North Carolina and gave Estes a tip or two and the Warren High School graduate responded in a big way by hammering six basehits in a Bevely/Lowell double header sweep over Athens Sunday afternoon.

Estes collected three basehits in the opener as B/L scored a 5-1 win and then added three more in a rain shortened 8-2 Post 389/750 win in the night cap.

“He is just in a real great zone at the plate,” said Todd Engle of Estes, who stroked four extra basehits in the twinbill. “He’s just doing it with ease. It doesn’t look like he’s grinding or trying to force anything, he’s just going up there and ripping the ball.”

While Estes was leading the offense, fellow Warren Warriors’ Kyler Dennis and Blake Kidder were handing things on the mound for BevLow.

Dennis scattered seven hits and an unearned run in the opener while Kidder allowed two hits and two runs in four innings of work in game two to earn the victories.

Athens took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the opener when Austin Downs and Blake Linder collected back-to-back singles and Downs came into score when B/L right fielder Brycee Gandee’s throw to third base on a Tyler Walton fly-ball was off the mark and rolled up against the fence down the left field line.

Beverly/Lowell got that run right back in the top of the second inning when Gunnar Smith and Dennis opened the inning with base hits and after a walk to Trent Bradford, pinch runner Isaac Huffman crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Athens starting pitcher Tyler Vickers.

Vickers cut his losses by striking out the final three B/L hitters to strand the runners and leave the game tied at 1-1.

Post 389/750 jumped in front in the top of the fourth when Bradford and Gandee opened the inning with base hits and Jake Ullman reached on a fielders choice.

Estes followed with a double to straight-away center field to score a pair of runs and give B/L a 3-1 lead.

Estes scored when he stole third, and the throw sailed down the left field line to make it a 4-1 ball game.

Fort Frye’ Derek Layton added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when he singled in Lance Schafer to give Dennis a four-run cushion heading into the final frame.

Dennis yielded a two-out base hit to Zack Howman before fanning Downs to secure the win for Beverly/Lowell.

In the nightcap, B/L took advantage of some shotty Athens defense as they scored a pair of runs in the top of the second inning with out the benefit of a base hit.

Zack Howman’s two-run single off of Kidder in the second tied things up at two apiece before BevLow rallied for three in the top of the third.

Estes led off with his third double of the twinbill and scored on another RBI single by Layton to snap the tie. Engle has been quite impressed with Layton’s ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

“Once runners get in scoring postion, Drew is probably hitting about .700,” said Engle of Layton, who played first base in the opener and was the designated hitter in game two. “It’s just been phenominal to see how well he does in the clutch.”

Back-to-back singles by Smith and Dennis and an RBI ground out by Justin Hill made it 5-2.

Post 389/750 added three more runs in the fifth inning thanks again to two of the six errors Athens committed in the night cap to increase the lead to 8-2. With darkening clouds and flashes of lightning in the air and a forecast for stormy weather on it’s way, the game was called after B/L hit in the fifth.

The win was the seventh in a row for Engle’s team as it improved to 15-11 heading into this week’s tournament at Lancaster which begins on Tuesday.