Beverly/Lowell thumps Prospect 9-1 in Legion baseball

LANCASTER – Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 rebounded from a sluggish showing Tuesday with a lively performance Wednesday.

A day after looking lethargic in a 4-1 loss to Chillicothe, Beverly/Lowell defeated Prospect Post 368 9-1 at Beavers Field in Lancaster behind a stellar outing from starting pitcher Ben Barnas and an offense that pounded out 11 basehits.

“Everything I complained about yesterday went the opposite way today,” said Post 389/750 head coach Todd Engle. “When they play like that, that’s a fun team to coach.”

Everyone in B/L’s starting lineup had a hit or a run driven in. Jake Ullman and Kyler Dennis both had two hits apiece. Joel Estes had a triple and Ethan Estes hit a double for the only extra-basehits of the game.

“We had several quality at-bats today,” Engle said. “When we’re running the bases and playing like that, we’re a pretty tough out. It doesn’t hurt to have big-time Ben out on the mound.”

Barnas (2-2) allowed just one run on three hits in six innings. He threw 75 pitches in the game, 43 for strikes, and worked quickly for the most part using just five pitches in the first inning, 13 in the third, eight in the fourth and 11 in the fifth.

“In the past, when (Barnas) gets deep in the count and tries to strike everybody out, we’d tend to fall asleep in the field,” Engle said. “Today he went right at them and challenged them to make our defense work.”

Prospect struck first in the top of the second inning when it scored its only run of the game. With one out in the frame, Barnas issued a four-pitch walk to Chris Flack, who would end up at third courtesy of two wild pitches. With two outs in the inning, Evan Webb rolled a single up the middle to plate Flack and make it a 1-0 game.

Not wanting to lose for the second time in two days, B/L quickly responded with three runs in the bottom of the second. With runners on the corners and one out, Joel Estes flied to deep left-center field over the left fielder’s head for a two-run triple. Estes later scored on a wild pitch to give B/L a 3-1 advantage. The rally chased Prospect starter Scott Foster, who was relieved by Webb.

Engle’s squad struck again in the fourth. Jake Ullman led off the inning with a base on balls, stole second and then advanced to third on Ethan Estes’ sacrifice bunt. Derek Layton would drive him in with a sac fly to right to make it 4-1.

Three more runs were added when Webb couldn’t find the strike zone in the fifth. After Blake Kidder led off with a single, the next four batters walked, plating two runs. A third run would score when, with the bases still loaded, Layton grounded to short and the throw home was late.

B/L would tack on two more runs in the seventh before the game was called.

Engle said the final score didn’t indicate the talent of the opposing team.

“That’s a well-coached ballclub,” Engle said. “They’ve got some hitters. I attribute everything to (Barnas). He had some pretty good stuff and was attacking the strike zone.”

The victory improved Beverly/Lowell’s record to 16-12 on the season. Tournament action continues Thursday for B/L when it plays Mason County at 4 p.m.