Bev/Low, Post 64 advance at district

CAMBRIDGE — Tyler Bradford outdueled Trent Valentine.

The Beverly/Lowell southpaw pitched a two-hitter as two-time defending champion Post 389/750 edged Cambridge Post 84, 3-2, Saturday in American Legion District 11, Region 8 baseball action at Don Coss Field.

In seven innings of work, Bradford — a Potomac State standout — struck out nine, walked two, and didn’t allow an earned run.

Valentine — also a lefty — threw five innings, fanning three, walking one, and allowing four hits. Gavin Thompson hurled one inning of scoreless relief.

Offensively for BevLow, first baseman Brett Gandee’s bases-clearing double in the fourth inning proved to be difference in the contest.

Todd Engle-coached Beverly/Lowell (23-6) is now scheduled to play in a winners bracket game at 3 p.m. today, while Ron Antill-led Cambridge (28-10) is slated to compete in a losers bracket tilt at noon today.

Post 84 staked itself to a 1-0 advantage in the third when Valentine plated Connor Leppla with a single to left.

In the bottom of the fourth, Bradford worked Valentine for a walk and advanced to second on Clayton Cook’s infield single. Seth Dennis then beat out a bunt to load the bases.

Next up, Gandee, a Warren Warrior, cleared the bases to make it 3-1.

Cambridge got one of those runs back in the sixth when Valentine legged it home on a BevLow error.

Marietta prevailed on a St. Clairsville miscue.

Josh Martin legged it home from second base on an errant throw in the bottom of the seventh inning as Post 64 downed 2018 district runner-up Post 159, 3-2, Saturday in American Legion winners bracket baseball action at Don Coss Field.

With the victory, Larry Hiser-coached Marietta (17-8) will square off against two-time defending district champion Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 at 3 p.m. today at DCF.

With the score knotted at 2-all, Martin — who was recently promoted to the team — led off the final frame with a single. After he was sacrifice-bunted to second by Justin Thompson, the Post 64 second baseman advanced to third when Mark Martie grounded out to first. On the play, Martin continued on home with the winning run on the St. Clairsville first baseman’s throwing error to third.

Derek Duckworth got the win on the bump, pitching only one-third of an inning. The Muskingum University recruit relieved Malone University-bound Kail Hill after Post 159 rallied to tie the score 2-2 with two outs in the top of the seventh. In 6-2/3 innings of work, Hill fanned eight, walked none, and allowed seven hits.

Kyle Storer suffered the mound setback for Post 159 (18-9). Drake Dobson had two hits.

Marietta staked itself to a 1-0 first-inning lead when Hill tripled and scored on Corbin Alkire’s sac fly.

Post 64 stretched its lead to 2-0 in the second when Duckworth singled home Mike Reeder.

St. Clairsville cut it to one in the top of the sixth when a doubling Mason Ramsay — a Baldwin Wallace sophomore to be, legged it home from third on Storer’s groundout.

The following frame, Matt Busby, a Marietta College recruit, was two-out clutch when he singled home Cole Porter to tie the score at 2-all.

St. Clairsville is slated to play Cambridge Post 84 in an elimination game at noon today.

Note: On Saturday, Zanesville Post 29 earned a forfeit win against Barnesville Post 168 in an elimination game.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com