Legion district tournament begins today
Bev/Low, Post 64 get 1st-round bye
CAMBRIDGE — Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 will be seeking a 3-peat in the District 11, Region 8 tournament.
With so many good teams in the tourney looking to ambush the defending champs, it figures to be a challenge.
“Our district is so good that I think that whoever comes out of district has a chance to win the state title,” said BevLow skipper Todd Engle. “I think it’s that good.
“We’ve been fortunate enough the last two years to be state runner-up (at Beavers Field in Lancaster).”
All the district baseball action is scheduled to start Friday at 3 p.m. with host and Ron Antill-coached Cambridge Post 84 playing Barnesville Post 168 at Don Coss Field in Cambridge.
“Barnesville’s good, and they’ve got a couple of good pitchers who can keep them in the game,” Antill said.
Following that contest at 6 p.m., 2018 district runner-up St. Clairsville Post 159 faces the Zanesville Post 29 Titans.
“Zanesville’s a very young team,” Antill said.
Both Beverly/Lowell and Larry Hiser-led Marietta Post 64 have a bye in the first round, and are scheduled to play Saturday. Post 389/750 is slated to play the Cambridge/Barnsville winner at noon while Marietta will be pitted against the St. Clairsville-Zanesville winner at 3 p.m.
“If Cambridge wins (Friday), we get them right off the bat,” Engle said. “It’s going to be a battle.”
Antill agreed, and added, “Beverly/Lowell’s been our nemesis the last few years. They’re well-coached, and they’re tough.”
Hiser also figures that BevLow will be the team to beat.
“They swing it well,” the Marietta field general said. “They’ve been playing together for so long that they know what the hit-and-run plays are and what the bunt-and-run plays are. So, I give them credit for getting as many extra bases as they can. It makes it hard to defend them.”
Beverly/Lowell has a deep pitching staff, which includes Tyler Bradford of Potomac State College of West Virginia, Brett Gandee, Luke Nelson, Kurt Taylor, Drew Huffman, Kam Hesson, Seth Dennis, and Conner Counterman.
Clayton Cook, a Marietta College baseball recruit, is expected to start at catcher. He’ll be backed up by Nate Brothers and Thomas Miller.
In the infield, look for Bradford at first base; Evan Gandee or Brothers at second; Tate Engle, short; and Dennis or Brothers or Taylor at third base.
The BevLow outfield could have Dennis or Huffman in left; Nelson or Huffman, center; and Mason Long or Caleb Davis or Brett Gandee or Hesson in right.
The rest of the Post 389/750 roster includes Jacob Huffman, Jude Huffman, and Eric Isner.
“This team is a lot like last year’s,” Todd Engle said. “They all like one another. They like being here and being around one another. It makes it easy for me.”
Marietta’s probable starting line-up Saturday will feature Justin Thompson, catcher; Corbin Alkire, first; Jake Rose, second; Derek Duckworth, short; Jarrett Jackson, third; Carter Dennis, left; Dakota Miller, center; and Kail Hill, right.
A couple of other Post 64 players to keep an eye on will be Joe Zimmer and Jared Richards.
Marietta also has a strong pitching staff with Mike Reeder, Alkire, Duckworth, and Hill all expected to toe the rubber at some point in the tourney.
Against Barnesville, Cambridge is expected to start Clark Jennings, at catcher; Logan Fox, first; Peyton Neff, second; Gavin Thompson, third; Zach Hoop, short; Blade Barclay, left; Connor Leppla, center; and Dylan Beaver, right. On the bump, it could be Hunter McClellan, Neff, or Fox.
The rest of the Post 84 roster includes Jacob Nonamaker, Lane Howell, Brandon Rominger, Easton Hitchens, and Ethan Clarkston.
St. Clairsville’s probable starters will be Jakob Jarvis, catcher; Drake Dobson, first; Mason Ramsay, second; Jake Probst, third; Matt Busby, short; Cole Porter, left; Kyle Storer, center; and PJ Sauvageot, right.
The Mike Muklewicz-led Post 159 roster also includes Tyler Tonkovich, Will Balgo, Dylan Gregorcic, Luke Jozwiak; and Izaac Jozwiak
Ron Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
American Legion District Tournament
at Cambridge’s Don Coss Field
Game 1: Cambridge vs. Barnesville, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Zanesville vs. St. Clairsville, 6 p.m.
Game 3: Beverly/Lowell vs. Game 1 winner, noon
Game 4: Marietta vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 6 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, noon
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 9: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 11 (if necessary): Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 6 p.m.