Bev/Low unable to stave off elimination
CAMBRIDGE — Mason Myers hit a bases-clearing triple to break a 6-6 tie in the top of the sixth and threw 4 2/3 strong innings of relief to lift St. Clairsville Post 159 to the Ohio District 11 Tournament final.
Post 159 (18-7) brought nine players to Don Coss Field Thursday and rallied from a 6-1 deficit to eliminate 2019 district and state champion Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 by a score of 10-7.
“Everybody knows we’ve got three guys out, our 2-3-4 hitters,” said Post 159 skipper Mike Muklewicz, referring to three of his players who are competing in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star football game this weekend.
“These kids put a hell of a performance in tonight. Myers provided the huge, huge spark in the sixth. He’s not typically a pitcher, but he came in and had a huge performance. That’s a 15-year-old kid playing a high level of baseball.”
St. Clairsville trailed 6-5 going into the sixth, but loaded the bases with nobody out. Chase Goff hit a grounder to short that was misplayed, allowing the tying run to score and reloading the bases. That set up Myers’ deep line drive to right, which turned into a three-run three-bagger to make it 9-6. Myers later scored on Drew Sefsick’s RBI groundout to add another run.
Beverly/Lowell had a runner on third with two outs in the sixth when Easton Eible hit a flyball to the left-center gap. Center field Jaren Starks sprinted and made a diving snag to save a run and end the inning. Beverly/Lowell threatened again in the seventh as Thomas Miller singled to drive in Kurt Taylor, but Myers got a strikeout, flyout and a groundout to end the game.
When Myers took over on the mound with one out in the bottom of the third, Beverly/Lowell led 4-1 and had the bases loaded. Miller had driven in all four of Beverly/Lowell’s runs to that point, hitting a two-run double in the first and a two-run single in the second. He finished the game 4 for 4 with two doubles and five RBIs.
Myers’ first offering was a wild pitch that plated Taylor, and then Wade Pauley had an RBI groundout to short to make it 6-1.
Beverly/Lowell committed two of its four errors in the top of the fourth, which helped allow St. Clairsville to cut it to 6-3. Post 159 added two more runs in the top of the fifth when Myers and Sefsick hit back-to-back RBI knocks, making it a 6-5 game.
Beverly/Lowell had a chance to get some of those runs back when they loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but Myers got an inning-ending flyout to center to avoid any damage.
Two more errors, a walk and a bunt hit jumpstarted St. Clairsville’s sixth-inning rally before Myers broke it open.
“We knew coming in they could really hit the ball,” said Beverly/Lowell head coach Todd Engle. “They’re swinging it well and they can hit it one through nine. You can’t give a good hitting team like that extra outs, and we did.”
Seth Dennis pitched five innings and took the loss for Beverly/Lowell. He walked three and struck out five. Ian Ellis pitched the last two innings.
Dylan Gregorcic started for Post 159, going 2 1/3 innings with three walks. Myers got the win in relief.
“They are a very good program,” Muklewicz said of Engle’s club. “Beverly and us knew we would see each other at some point again after they beat us the first game. That is a very good program over there. Very well coached. We want to wipe each other on the field, but off the field I think there’s a lot of mutual respect.”
St. Clairsville will need to defeat Cambridge Post 84 twice to win the district and advance to the state tournament. Their first chance will be at 6 p.m. today. If St. Clairsville wins, the two teams will play again at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Beverly/Lowell finished the 2021 season with a 24-7 record. Thursday was the final legion baseball game for Taylor, Braden Miller and Thomas Miller.
“I love them kids to death,” Engle said. “We lost on the scoreboard tonight, but these kids are definitely not losers.”
Jordan Holland can be reached at email@example.com.