Beverly/Lowell closing in on regional title

Defeats Danville in 16-15 slugfest

CHARLESTON, Ill. — Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 won a wild one Friday.

The Washington County-based legion team outlasted Danville Post 68 by a score of 16-15 in the American Legion Great Lakes Regional Tournament at Eastern Illinois University.

The two teams went back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth…

Beverly/Lowell tied things up at 1-1 in the first when Tyler Bradford’s RBI double knocked in Drew Huffman, but Danville touched up Beverly/Lowell starting pitcher Kurt Taylor for a five-spot in the top of the third. Chase Vincent’s two-run double was the big knock in the frame.

Post 389/750 answered with a seven-spot in the bottom half of the inning to take an 8-6 lead. The Todd Engle-coached team had just two hits in the inning but benefited from six walks. Thirteen batters came to the plate for Beverly/Lowell in the inning.

Danville scored three more in the top of the fourth to take a 9-8 lead. Two runs came in on a triple by Chase Rademacher, who was driven in on Vincent’s sacrifice fly to center.

Beverly/Lowell fought back again in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game on Taylor’s RBI single. After another run came in on a wild pitch, pinch-hitter Brett Gandee socked a two-run home run to left field to make it 12-9.

With Drew Huffman now on the mound for Beverly/Lowell, Ernest Plummer’s two-run double in the top of the fifth cut it to a one-run game, and Plummer later scored on a wild pitch to tie things up. Engle called on Connor Counterman to take over on the bump. Vincent greeted him with an RBI single to give Danville a 13-12 edge. Later, Logan Spicer plated two more runs on a two-bagger to make it 15-12.

Beverly/Lowell’s never-say-die attitude continued as it once again rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth. After a leadoff walk by Bradford, doubles by Clayton Cook and Maeson Long cut it to 15-14. With two outs, Counterman made his first plate appearance and came through with a double down the line to tie the game.

Danville loaded the bases against Counterman with two outs in the top of the sixth, but Counterman got Vincent to ground out to short to end the threat.

Huffman hit a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth and later went to third on Cook’s base hit. With two outs, Dennis poked a single up the middle to bring in the go-ahead run and make it 16-15.

Gandee came on to pitch the seventh. After a leadoff walk, he struck out the next two batters before inducing a flyout to Long in center to end the game and earn the save.

Counterman pitched two innings of relief to earn the victory on the mound. Rademacher also worked a paif of frames and was charged with the loss.

Beverly/Lowell now will play Sawyersville at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Win or lose, Beverly/Lowell will be back in action Sunday with the regional championship on the line.