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Post 79 sets record for victories

Pitcher Ron Lowe has helped Paradise Post 79 attain two milestones in his past two starts.

The left-hander, who will be a senior at Ridgewood this fall, tossed a four-hitter Tuesday for Post 79's 20th win of the season, a 3-2 victory over St. Petersburg Post 14. In his previous start, Lowe led Paradise to its team-record 18th win, 13-3 over Gulfport Post 125.

The record for wins in a season by Post 79 was 17, set in 1994 and matched last year. This is Post 79's 13th season.

"It means a lot that (manager Jim Gariepy) chose me over everyone else," said Lowe, who leads the team in wins (6-1), earned-run average (1.81) and strikeouts (40).

Against Gulfport, it was Lowe's scheduled turn in the starting rotation. However, Tuesday against St. Petersburg, left-hander Justin Libecap was supposed to pitch but had to work. So Gariepy tabbed Lowe.

"I specifically chose him because I wanted a left-hander to go against St. Pete," Gariepy said. "For some reason or other (St. Petersburg batters) have a problem against left-handers."

Libecap had 16 strikeouts against St. Petersburg in a 3-1 win June 19.

On Tuesday, St. Petersburg scored two unearned runs in the first inning, but Paradise got a run in the fourth when Greg Esteves reached on an error and scored on a Dave Hancox double.

Post 79 put the game away in the seventh when Billy Phillips singled and scored on Thomas Dillon's double. Dillon later came home on Billy Evers' sacrifice fly.

Gariepy attributes Paradise's 20-8 overall mark, in part, to a deep pitching staff, which includes left-handers Lowe, Libecap and Joe Dan Fagan, and right-handers Phillips and Hancox.

"I think the pitching staff is superior to anything (Paradise has) had in the past," Gariepy said.

"Any time you get three left-handers in the rotation you're in good shape."