On athletics: B/L hopes to enjoy years of success

At the conclusion of Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750’s season-ending loss to Cambridge Post 84 Sunday at Don Coss Field, head coach Todd Engle, like he does every year, said goodbye to the group of players who will not be returning next season due to age restrictions.

Evan Sawyer, Jordan Satterfield, Austin Campbell, Kordell Antill, Dustin Duffy and Terrance Mayle all played integral roles in Beverly/Lowell’s 2013 season, but will be too old to compete for Engle’s squad again next summer.

While that is a tough group to lose, what Beverly/Lowell returns should lead to an even more successful campaign in 2014.

While leadoff hitter Campbell will be gone, the team returns its 2 through 6-hole hitters in what was a very potent lineup throughout the District 11 tournament this past weekend.

Warren’s Ethan Estes, Lance Schafer and Gunnar Smith will likely return to hit second, fourth and fifth, respectively, in Engle’s lineup again next summer, while Parkersburg Catholic’s Jake Ullman (third) and Morgan’s Justin Greer (sixth) will also be back.

Marietta’s Devin Leister could potentially move from the 9-hole to the leadoff spot next year while playing either second base or an outfield position.

Ullman will be back at shortstop, Estes at third or in left, Greer at first, Smith behind the plate and Schafer somewhere in the outfield.

On the mound, Engle will have a lot of innings to make up for with the departures of Sawyer, Duffy and Antill, but should have enough arms returning to do it.

Marietta grad Ben Barnas is expected to be back and will likely be the team’s ace. Caldwell’s Kyler McElfresh and Warren’s Justin Hill will be other options for Beverly/Lowell’s rotation, as well as Federal Hocking’s Phillip Hoffman.

Add to that a solid junior team from this season and Engle and his staff has a lot to be excited about for summers to come.

“We should be fun to watch here for a long time,” he said.

Jordan Holland is a sports writer for The Marietta Times. He can be reached at 740-376-5449 or at jholland@mariettatimes.com