ST. CLAIRSVILLE - There was plenty of pitching and defense to go around Friday afternoon at Memorial Park.
And why not? Edison and St. Clairsville, two of the Ohio Valley's big dogs of the diamond, went head-to-head in a Buckeye 8 Conference showdown.
Coach Mike Collopy's Wildcats (16-2) accounted for the game's only runs, pinning a 3-0 setback on Tom Sliva's Red Devils who fell to 14-3.
PICKING?UP?THE?WIN — Edison’s Koby?Sronce delivers a pitch during the Wildcats’ 3-0 at St. Clairsville Friday.
Both teams were scheduled to vie in OVAC 4-A semifinal play today at Morristown with Edison and Harrison Central hooking up at 10 a.m. followed by a St. Clairsville-Steubenville Big Red matchup at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Friday's game featured outstanding pitching on both sides. Edison senior Koby Sronce worked into the seventh inning, recording the win. The Wildcats' senior righthander struck out one and allowed two walks.
After Sronce issued a free pass to St. Clairsville's Cory Kotopka leading off the bottom of the seventh, Collopy brought on ace righthander Greg Stagani whose first pitch went for a quick double play.
Red Devils' catcher Riley Carlton then hit a liner to right which rolled to the fence. Carlton pulled up at third but was stranded when Stagani recorded a game-ending strikeout.
Red Devils righthander Greyson Loweecy was equally solid, firing a complete game five-hitter. Loweecy fanned six and walked walks.
"Greyson definitely pitched well enough to win. We just didn't give him any runs to work with," offered Sliva.
"I think we needed to have a little bit of a better idea at the plate. (You've) got to have a plan up there. But give Edison credit. They are a very quality, well-coached team."
Edison's first two batters of the game (Chad Wickham, Josh Pasek) led off with singles. Stagani reached on a fielder's choice and Wickham raced home via an error on the play.
One out later, Phil Hilt's infield grounder plated Pasek and it was 2-0.
"It's always nice to score first. That has to help your pitcher," Collopy described. "I thought Koby was excellent. He made his pitches and the kids made plays behind him. I thought it was a well-played game between two solid teams."
St. C.'s leadoff hitter Ben Evick singled in the bottom of the first and centerfielder Sammy Vincenzo followed with a base knock up the middle. Sronce recovered for an infield out, then induced an inning-ending double play ball.
The Cats' veteran pitcher reached on a one-out infield hit in the fifth and came on to score on Stagani's two-out single.
Vincenzo drilled a one-out double to rightcenter in the sixth before Sronce retired the next to Devils on ground balls.
Pasek, Evick and Vincenzo were the game's only multi-hitters. Edison and St. C. stage a regular season rematch Monday at Richmond.
Edison 3, St. Clairsville 0
Edison 200 010 0 - 3 5 1
St Clairsville 000 000 0 - 0 5 2
EDISON (16-2): Sronce (WP, 1K, 2BB), Stagani (7, 1K, 0BB) and Bertha; Pasek 2S; Stagani S, RBI; Hilt, RBI.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE (14-3): Loweecy (LP, 6K, 4BB) and Carlton; Evick 2S; Vincenzo S, D.