Heart-breaking end for Beverly/Lowell

CHARLESTON, Ill. — The Mid-Ohio Valley was this close to being represented at the American Legion Baseball World Series.

Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 entered Sunday undefeated in Great Lakes Regional Tournament play, but the Washington County-based club dropped a pair of games to Danville Post 210 as their incredible season came to a heart-breaking end.

Tied at 3-all in the bottom of the seventh, Danville loaded the bases with two outs. Trevor Davis grounded a ball down the third-base line that Kurt Taylor made a diving stop on. Taylor raced to third base for the forceout, but his dive to the bag wasn’t in time and the winning run scored, 4-3.

Beverly/Lowell, which had defeated Danville 16-15 on Friday, finished the 2019 campaign an impressive 39-10 and claimed state and district titles along the way.

Brett Gandee took the loss but pitched 6 2/3 gutsy innings for Beverly/Lowell. Danville starter Elijah Harden worked five innings and took a no-decision, while Chase Rademacher pitched two innings of relief to earn the win.

Beverly/Lowell got on the board first.

Loading the bases with no outs, Clayton Cook hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Drew Huffman. Seth Dennis bunted for a single to re-load the bases, but Harden retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Danville got the run back in the bottom of the second when Logan Spicer clubbed a solo home run to left-center.

The two teams traded runs in the third — Beverly/Lowell on Maeson Long’s RBI double and Danville on Dakotah Broeker’s run-scoring single — to make it 2-2.

Rademacher gave Danville its first lead of the game in the fifth. With runners on second and third with one out, the Post 210 first baseman hit a sac fly to center to make it 3-2..

That’s how the score remained until Beverly/Lowell came to bat in the top of the seventh. With two down and down to his last strike, Long singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nate Brothers then came through with a clutch base knock over second base to tie the game and keep Beverly/Lowell’s season alive, at least momentarily.

Danville got its leadoff batter on in the bottom of the seventh, but Gandee induced a 6-4-3 double play to eliminate the base-runner. However, Rademacher and Chase Vinson each singled to put runners on the corners and then Spicer was intentionally walked to load the bases for Trevor Davis, who delivered the game-winner.

An impressive offensive showing by Danville earlier in the day forced the winner-take-all affair, as Post 210 defeated Beverly/Lowell 14-6.

Ernest Plummer was a perfect 5 for 5 at the plate for Danville, which fell behind 4-0 in the second but rallied for two in the third in and two in the fourth to tie things.

Danville took the lead in the fifth, scoring a run on a wild pitch and two more on Plummer’s single to make it 7-4.

Beverly/Lowell fought back and made it a one-run game on Taylor’s two-run single in the fifth, but Danville added two insurance runs in the sixth and then poured it on in the seventh for a five-spot to put the game out of reach.

Kam Hesson took the mound loss, reaching his pitch limit after 5 2/3 innings. Connor Counterman and Huffman both pitched in relief.

(Played Saturday)

Beverly/Lowell 9,

Swoyersville 8 (9 inn.)

CHARLESTON, Ill. — Nate Brothers’ walk-off single plated Seth Dennis in the bottom of the ninth to give Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 a 9-8 victory over Swoyersville Post 644 Saturday at Eastern Illinois University, setting up Sunday’s regional final.

Dennis led off the ninth with a double and went to third on Maeson Long’s groundout. Brothers came up and ripped a single to end the Pennsylvania state champions’ season.

Up 4-3, Beverly/Lowell gave itself some insurance with Long’s two-run double in the fifth and Tate Engle’s two-RBI two-bagger in the sixth.

However, Swoyersville made sure it didn’t make things easy on the Ohio state champs, plating five runs in the top of the seventh to tie things.

Unshaken, Beverly/Lowell got a leadoff double from Clayton Cook in the bottom of the seventh, but was unable to score the winning run and the game went into extras.

Caleb Davis walked leadoff batter Adamski in the eighth. Adamski went to second on a sac bunt and to third on a wild pitch, but Davis struck out Baranski and got Conway to fly out to end the threat.

Davis then led off the eighth with an infield single, but ended up getting picked off first. With two outs, Engle walked and Tyler Bradford was plunked, but O’Kane got Cook to pop out to keep the game going.

Two runners reached against Davis in the top of the ninth, but he got back to back flyouts to escape and set up Brothers’ heroics.