American Legion Baseball: Beverly blanks Athens

BEVERLY – Jordan Satterfield’s two-run, third inning double snapped a scoreless tie, and Dustin Duffy tossed six scoreless innings to lead Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 to a 4-0 shutout victory over Athens Post 21 Friday night in an American Legion contest at Fort Frye High School.

Duffy scattered seven base hits and found himself with his back against the wall numerous times in the early going only to come away unscathed.

“He (Duffy) has kept us in every game that he has pitched,” said Beverly/Lowell head coach Todd Engle. “He gives us the chance to win the game.”

Athens threatened to have a big inning in the second when they loaded the bases with nobody out when Dusty Mullins led off with a walk and Kolby Rogers and Justin Shumate followed with back-to-back singles.

Duffy rallied by fanning second baseman Tyler Lutz for the first out of the inning and then got Chace Harris to bounce out to third baseman Ben Barnas who fired home for a force out for the second out of the inning.

The former Morgan Raider right hander then struck out Romie Casey to end the inning and keep the game scoreless heading to the bottom of the second.

“We dodged a big bullet right there,” said Engle of the second-inning escape. “The first couple of innings they (Athens) were applying a bunch of pressure but we managed to keep them off the score board.”

Athens would threaten once again in the third inning when they put the first two runners on base on a walk and a basehit but center fielder and Duffy’s former high school teammate Austin Campbell came up with a huge defensive play for Post 389/750.

Campbell tracked down Blake Linder’s flyball for the first out of the inning and promptly threw a strike to Barnas at third base to cut down Chris Baker trying to advance to third for a double play.

Duffy then got Mullins to bounce out to Satterfield at second base to end the inning.

While a fine defensive play by Beverly/Lowell prevented an Athens run from scoring in the top of the third, an Athens error proved beneficial in B/L scoring the first three runs of the game in the bottom half.

First baseman Justin Hill drew a base on balls off of Athens starting pitcher Tyler Vickers to open the inning and Barnas followed by laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt that Athens first baseman Shumate mishandled allowing Hill to advance to third and Barnas to second.

Satterfield then dropped a line drive just in front of a diving Baker in center field to allow both Hill and Barnas to cross the plate and give Beverly/Lowell a 2-0 lead.

“That was a huge basehit by Jordan (Satterfield),” said Engle of his second baseman who is still in the recovery stages of surgery from a knee injury he suffered back in January.

“Its going to take him a while to get back to full strength but he is a great kid who is going to work hard and he’ll be a major contributor to our team the rest of the way.”

After Vickers retired the next two B/L hitters in order, Lance Schafer delivered a clutch two-out RBI single to score Satterfield and make it a 3-0 game.

Beverly/Lowell added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth when shortstop Jake Ullman led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Gunnar Smith.

Phillip Huffman followed with a single to left to advance Ullman to third.

Vickers then got Huffman trapped in a run down between first and second base but somehow the Athens defense lost track of Ullman at third base, and he sprinted home scott free with the fourth run of the game.

Duffy allowed single base hits in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings and Engle elected to replace him on the mound with Hill after he walked the lead off hitter for Athens in the top of the seventh.

Hill set down all three hitters he faced in order to secure victory number six of the young season for Post 389/750.

B/L, which improved to 6-10 with the win, continues to play solid defense as it turned in an errorless performance once again Friday evening.

“All in all we are getting better each game,” said Engle of his young team. “We just need to start to hit the ball a little better and take a little pressure off of our pitching and defense.”

Duffy was credited with his second victory of the season, while Vickers allowed just one unearned run in six innings of work to take the loss.

Beverly/Lowell has quite a busy weekend ahead of itself as it is scheduled to host Tuscarawas Post 205 in a twinbill Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m., and also have a double dipper scheduled for Sunday afternoon at home versus St. Clairsville Post 159, also at 1 p.m.