Beverly/Lowell claims district championship
MARIETTA – Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and never looked back as they defeated Cambridge Post 84 by a score of 11-2 Saturday afternoon to claim a district championship and advance to the state tournament in Lancaster in two weeks.
Ethan Estes and Derek Layton each collected three hits apiece, while shortstop Jake Ullman, Blake Kidder and Devin Leister added two to pace a 16-hit Beverly-Lowell attack.
Layton got things started by connecting on a two-out, run-scoring double in top the first inning to score Ullman.
B-L took full advantage of a Cambridge defense which committed seven errors.
Lance Schafer reached on one of those errors to begin the third inning and one out later Gunner Smith was hit by a pitch.
Kidder followed with a long double to the wall in left-center to plate a pair of runs and Bryce Gandee’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0.
Beverly-Lowell added another pair of runs in the fourth when Estes, Schafer and Layton strung together consecutive base hits.
While the B-L offense may have stolen the show Saturday with its 16-hit performance, the story of the tournament was pitching and defense.
B-L pitchers allowed just four runs in the three games while the defense committed just one error in its 27 total innings on the Don Schaly Stadium field..
Phillip Hoffman started the game for and tossed five-hit, one-run baseball in five innings on the mound to earn the win, while Layton notched the save by allowing one run in his four innings of work.
Parker Evans went a perfect 3 for 3 and delivered both Cambridge runs in the game with RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings.
Chase Brown started for Cambridge and took the loss by allowing four runs in 2 1-3 innings of work.
The win was the 18th in the last 19 games for head coach Todd Engle’s Beverly/Lowell team, which will make its seventh trip to state in Engle’s tenure and its first since 2012.
Cambridge’s season came to an end with a 19-21 record while Beverly/Lowell improved to 26-13 following the tournament sweep.