Beverly/Lowell plays in Lancaster Legion tourney starting today

BEVERLY – Last season, Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 absolutely dominated its regular-season schedule, posting a 36-4 record, before going two-and-out in the Ohio state American Legion baseball tournament in Lancaster.

Beverly/Lowell head coach Todd Engle said at the time that the big stage may have caused his team’s level of play to slip.

This time around though, Beverly/Lowell should be better prepared for a possible state appearance, should it get that far, as it will compete in a tournament in Lancaster that starts today and ends Sunday.

Beverly/Lowell is scheduled to play Blissfield at 6 p.m., today, Circleville at 6 p.m. Friday, and both Coshocton and Pickerington at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.. respectively Saturday. Post 389/750 is also scheduled to play Sunday, but the time and opponent is to be determined.

The 2013 season did not start off the way Beverly/Lowell would have liked as it won just five of its first 16 contests. The squad has since found a groove, winning 13 of its last 15 games to improve to 18-13 heading into Lancaster.

Upon completing the upcoming tournament, B/L will play a pair of road doubleheaders next week against Tuscarawas and Portsmouth to finish up the regular season. It will then head to Don Coss Field in Cambridge to compete in the district tournament on July 14.

So basically, this weekend would be a good time to start peaking. If Beverly/Lowell can continue its hot streak and build some confidence going into the postseason, the sky is the limit.

Beverly/Lowell’s pitching staff has been anchored by Marietta graduates Evan Sawyer and Ben Barnas. Justin Hill, Dustin Duffy and Kyle McElfresh will all likely get quality innings this weekend as well. The club is also hoping to get last year’s ace Kordell Antill healthy. Antill, a standout at Monroe Central, would provide a huge boost to the team’s rotation.

“It’s been our pitching and defense that have kept us in it all year,” Engle said after B/L’s 4-3 win over St. Marys on June 27.

Probable starters throughout the tournament are Gunnar Smith behind the plate, Terrance Mayle at first, Jordan Satterfield at second, Jake Ullman at shortstop, Ethan Estes at third, and Austin Campbell, Lance Schafer and Devin Leister in the outfield.

Phil Hoffman, Justin Greer, John Rose and Mitch Minder provide depth off the bench.