Beverly/Lowell wins opener at state

LANCASTER — Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 showed a good eye at the plate, and took advantage of some wildness by Lancaster Post 11 pitching.

Beverly/Lowell drew nine walks in the game, collecting five hits, en route to a 9-4 victory in the first round of the state tournament Wednesday at Beavers Field.

No. 8 hitter Maeson Long notched Post 389/750’s first hit of the game in the bottom of the first, plating a pair of runs to make it 4-0. That was after four of Beverly/Lowell’s first six batters drew bases on balls, including walks by Seth Dennis and Brett Gandee with the bases loaded. The Todd Engle-coached squad chased Lancaster starting pitcher James Troup after just 1/3 of an inning.

Post 11 answered right back with a three spot in the top of the second off Beverly/Lowell starter Kam Hesson. Trey Henry drew a bases-loaded walk before Chaz Dickerson’s two-run single plated a pair.

Hesson settled down though, and held Lancaster scoreless until the sixth. By then, Beverly/Lowell had added three more runs to stretch its lead to 7-3. Gandee singled and stole second with one out in the bottom of the third.

After Luke Nelson walked and Long singled to load the bases, Evan Gandee cashed in with a two-run base knock. Long later came in to score when Evan Gandee stole second and the catcher’s throw went into the outfield.

Jacob Motta opened the top of the sixth with a single and went to third two batters later when Dylan Piko singled. Henry followed with a slow roller to short for a base hit to load the bases and chase Hesson, who finished with four strikeouts and two walks in 5 1/3 innings pitched to earn the win. Brett Gandee entered and, after Dickerson grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring in a run, struck out Tyler Wolfe to escape further damage.

Gandee came back out to throw a scoreless seventh inning and earn the save.

Piko pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief for Lancaster, fanning three and walking three, while Zane George got the final two outs in the bottom of the sixth, but not before walking Clayton Cook with the bases loaded and giving up an RBI sacrifice fly to Dennis to make it 9-4.

Beverly/Lowell moved into the winner’s bracket of the tournament and will square off against Circleville at 7 p.m. today, a rematch of last year’s state championship game.

With Hesson and Brett Gandee handling the pitching duties Wednesday, Beverly/Lowell will have ace Tyler Bradford available to today, should Engle call his number.

at Beavers Field, Lancaster

Legion Baseball State Tournament

Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 9,

Lancaster Post 11 4

Post 11 030 001 0 — 4 10 2

Post 389/750 403 002 x — 9 5 1

WP: Kam Hesson 5.1 IP, 2 BB, 4 SO

SAVE: Brett Gandee 1.1 IP,

LP: James Troup .1 IP, 3 BB, 0 SO

Dylan Piko 5 IP, 3 BB, 3 SO

Zane George .2 IP, 3 BB, 0 SO

Post 11 hitting: Chaz Dickerson 2-4, 3 RBIs; Jacob Motta 2-3

Post 389/750 hitting: Seth Dennis 1-2, 2 RBIs; Brett Gandee 1-3, RBI; Mason Long 2-3, 2 RBIs; Evan Gandee 1-2, 2 RBIs

Next game: Beverly/Lowell vs. Circleville, 7 p.m. at Beavers Field