Tanner Neal helps Beverly/Lowell stay alive at state

LANCASTER — Tanner Neal gutted it out.

The crafty left-hander pitched a 7-inning complete game as Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 edged Pemberville Freedom Post 183, 6-5, Friday afternoon in an American Legion Baseball State Tournament elimination game at Beavers Field.

Neal, who played his prep ball at Warren High, struck out five, walked four, and allowed 10 hits, five in the sixth inning. The former Warrior standout also helped his own cause with three singles and scored twice.

With the victory, Todd Engle-coached Bev/Low (35-9) stays alive in tourney play and is scheduled to play host Lancaster Post 11 (23-12) in a game at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Pemberville exits with a 35-16 mark.

Offensively for BL, Tate Engle and Tyler Bradford added two hits apiece and combined for three runs-batted-in. Logan Isner and Nate Brothers each drove in a run.

The Freedom was led by Scott Mackiewicz, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI.

Zach Marvin and Sam Witt added two hits apiece, while Josh Vischer, Jake Pickerel, and Justin Pickerel each had an RBI. Tyler Wehrle started on the hill and suffered the loss. Tony Rodriguez threw in relief.

Beverly/Lowell staked itself to a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first on Isner’s run-scoring double.

After Pemberville tied the score in the bottom half of the frame, Post 389/750 regained the lead, 2-1, in the second when Bradford singled home Luke Nelson.

The following frame, BL plated three runs to make it 5-1. Engle got the big hit with a two-run single. Brothers also singled home a run.

Bev/Low stretched its advantage to five (6-1) with a single run in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on a Pemberville fielding error.

Meanwhile, after pitching three scoreless innings after the first, Neal gave up a run to Post 183 in the bottom of the fifth with Jake Pickerel singling home Vischer.

Pemberville then cut it to one, 6-5, in the sixth with Justin Pickerel, Vischer, and Mackiewicz each driving in a run.

After retiring the first two Post 183 batters in the bottom of the seventh, Neal walked Fredrick Sisco and gave up a single to Witt. The former Warrior then balked, putting baserunners at second and third.

But Neal got out of the jam by retiring Pemberville’s Alec Zoeller on a game-ending flyout to left.