Beverly/Lowell mercies Meigs, 12-2

BEVERLY – For the second time in seven days Beverly Lowell Post 389/750 took on Meigs Post 39 in American Legion baseball and just like last time Beverly/Lowell came away with a dominating victory as they pounded visiting Meigs 12-2 Thursday night.

Ben Barnas tossed a complete game three-hitter and second baseman Kyler Dennis collected three-base hits while knocking in three runs to lead the way for Beverly/Lowell.

After teaming with his former Marietta High School teammate Evan Sawyer last year at the top of the BevLow rotation, Barnas had missed the majority of the first half of the season due to a back injury.

“Ben (Barnas) is still kind of working his way back from the back injury and he was kind of effectively wild tonight,” said Post 389/750 head coach Todd Engle of Barnas, who walked five and fanned nine Meigs hitters. “I thought for the most part .he threw the ball well.”

In last week’s 13-2 win over Meigs in Pomeroy, Derek Layton pounded out five base hits and knocked in six runs and the Fort Frye Cadet picked up right where he left off as he knocked in Jake Ullman with two outs in the bottom of the first to give Beverly/Lowell an early 1-0 lead.

Meigs collected two of their three base hits in the third inning when they scored their first run.

With one out Josh Schwab and Zak Beagle stroked back-to-back base hits and after a wild pitch moved Schwab into scoring position, he scored on Barnas’ error on a pick-off attempt at first base.

Beverly/Lowell wasted little time getting that run back as they batted around and scored four times in their half of the third inning off of Meigs starting pitcher Tim Ely. With one out Layton reached first on an error and moved to second base on a base hit by left fielder Blake Kidder. Phillip Hoffman and Dennis drew back-to-back walks to push B/L back in front and one out later Devin Leister drew the second bases loaded walk of the inning to force in the second run.

Jake Ullman then delivered the big blow of the inning as he lined a single to left field, plating two more runs and sending Post 389/750 out to a 5-1 lead.

Meigs got one of those runs back in the top of the fourth without the luxury of a base hit as Ely scored on a Barnas wild pitch after reaching base via a base-on-balls.

Ely settled down on the mound for Meigs as he kept the Beverly/Lowell offense off the score board in the fourth and fifth innings but that would all change in the sixth. Lance Schafer doubled down the left field line with one out and came around to score on yet another Layton RBI single.

After Ely fanned Kidder for the second out of the inning, Hoffman walked and Dennis doubled to right field to score two more runs and increase the lead to 8-2.

“Kyler (Dennis) is just a solid player for us right now,” said Engle, who has moved Dennis around in the field as well as in the batting order. “He’s an outstanding athlete and I’ve been impressed with him all year long.”

Barnas struck out the side in the fifth inning and then retired Meigs in order in the sixth before working his way out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh.

Blake Johnson came on in relief for Meigs in the last of the seventh inning in the scheduled nine-inning contest and Post 389/750 took advantage of his wildness to bring the game to an early ending.

Isaac Huffman was hit by a pitch to open the inning and Ullman and Ethan Estes followed with walks to load the bases with no one out.

Schafer just missed a game winning grand slam when he delivered a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field and Ullman and Estes both scored on wild pitches to make it 11-2. Two outs later, young Tate Engle ended things when he dropped a run scoring single into left-center field to secure the ninth victory of the season for Beverly/Lowell against 11 losses.

Todd Engle will have his full compliment of players available to him next week when a few players return from summer vacation and the veteran head coach thinks his team is capable of going on a run.

“We are starting to get some of our kids back and you can see the way we are starting to hit the ball with some authority,” said Engle, whose team will play back-to-back doubleheaders tomorrow and Saturday against St. Mary’s and St. Clairsville respectively. “We’re getting there and I think we are going to start scoring some runs eventually.”

Tonight’s first pitch of game one is scheduled for 5:30 in St. Marys.