Beverly/Lowell hangs on for 6-5 win

ST. MARYS, W. Va. – Justin Hill scattered seven hits in 4 1/3 innings for the win and Ben Barnas held on for the save here Wednesday at Dave Wilson Field as visiting Beverly-Lowell Post 389/750 topped St. Marys Post 79 in the first game of an American Legion twinbill, 6-5.

Skipper Wirt Cook’s team stranded 11 runners and that included leaving the bases juiced in the bottom of the seventh as St. Marys’ three-run frame came up just short.

Losing pitcher Robbie Harper worked around two walks in the first and then retired eight straight before working around consecutive singles by Jake Ullman and Gunner Smith in the top of the fourth. It helped that Harper picked off Ullman with the assistance of a good tag by Post 79 first baseman Matthew Houser.

However, head man Todd Engle’s club sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth and erased a 1-0 deficit to take control 5-1. Mitch Davis walked and scored on Zack Romine’s RBI single to left to give the hosts a 1-0 cushion in the first. The key for B-L in the fifth was getting back-to-back one-out singles by No. 8 hitter Devin Leister and ninth-place hitter Austin Campbell.

After leadoff hitter Lance Schafer drew a base on balls, Ethan Estes followed with a two-run single as Post 389/750 (4-5) took the lead for good. Ullman and Nick Spurr also had run-scoring singles in the outburst.

St. Marys, which dropped to 2-3 and is scheduled to play a pair of games in Moundsville today, got one back in the bottom of the fifth. Jarrod Lough doubled and scored on Tony Brunicardi’s single.

Post 389/750 got what proved to be an imporant insurance tally in the seventh after Kordell Antil singled off relief pitcher Tyler Davis with two outs. Antill moved to second on a wild pitch and runners were on the corners after Spurr hustled for an infield single. With Evan Sawyer at the plate, Spurr raced toward second and St. Marys did get the putout, but not before forgetting about Antill, who raced home before the tag was applied to Spurr.

Dylan Frye’s leadoff walk in the seventh was followed by singles from Lough and Brunicardi to load the bases. Houser had a one-out RBI single, a run scored on a passed ball and D.J. Burgess followed with an RBI double down the line in right that was nearly caught by a diving effort from Spurr. After Ryder Bolin walked to reload the bases, Barnas fanned Austin Luther and then got Mitch Davis to pop out to end it.