ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Bases loaded and nobody out is not the way Steubenville's Justin Corsi wanted to make his foray into Monday's Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4A semifinal against St. Clairsville.
But that's the situation the Big Red reliever found himself in with his team ahead 8-4 in the home half of the sixth inning.
Corsi retired three batters in order with only a sacrifice from Sam Vincenzo allowing a run to score.
Big Red added an insurance run in the seventh and Corsi closed the books on a 9-5 win against the Red Devils.
Steubenville advances to Saturday's 2 p.m. championship game at Vaccaro Field against Edison, a 1-0 victor against Harrison Central.
"We got up eight and kind of laid down a bit," Steubenville coach Fred Heatherington said. "But Justin came in and shut them down.
"We wanted a chance to defend what we won last year and now we're going to get to do that at home."
That wasn't the first time a Big Red pitcher worked his way out of jam.
Trailing 1-0 in the second, St. Clairsville worked the bases loaded when Riley Carlton's sacrifice bunt attempt found its way into pitcher JoJo Pierro's glove and the Big Red starter chose to hold D.J. Busby at third, loading the bases with one out.
But Pierro knuckled down, catching Chris Milhoan looking at strike three and inducing a pop-out from Grayson Loweecy to end the threat.
The Devils (14-4) stranded eight runners, including six in scoring position and the wasted opportunities in the second and sixth ultimately caused their downfall.
"You have to play big against good teams and we couldn't get the hits when we needed them," St. Clairsville skipper Tom Sliva said. "It's simple. We didn't make the plays we needed to and they did. They are the better team."
Plays Big Red made in abundance, especially at the plate.
In the teams' previous meeting at Memorial Park, Steubenville beat Vincenzo 2-1, only managing six hits off the Devils' ace lefty.
This time, they exercised patience at the plate. Big Red batters continually made Vincenzo work deep into the count, running his pitch total to nearly 70 through four innings.
In the fifth, the visitors pounced.
Lucky McClurg's third hit of the game started a five-run, four-hit outburst that put Big Red up 8-0. Michael Camilleti drove in two on a single and Matt Petrella's sacrifice fly and a double from Ryan Vojvodich accounted for the other runs.
"Our bats came alive (early)," Heatherington said. "We battled the whole game and beat a good left handed pitcher. We came in and our guys were ready at the plate. We made him work and throw a lot early."
St. Clairsville answered the following half inning, scoring four runs with Vincenzo, Matt Kinnick and Luke Smith getting credit for driving in runs.
McClurg had two singles and a triple to lead Steubenville. Pat Pizzoferrato had two run-scoring singles and Camilletti also drove in a pair.
Steubenville 9, St. Clairsville 5
Steubenville 102 050 1 - 9 13 1
St. Clairsville 000 041 0 - 5 6 3
STEUBENVILLE: J.Pierro (WP, 2K, 3BB), Corsi (6) and Vojvodich; McClurg 2S, T; J.Pierro S, D, rbi; Pizzoferrato 2S, 2rbi; Camilletti S, D, 2rbi; Petrella S, rbi; Vojvodich S, D; Westlake S.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE: Vincenzo (LP, 8K, 0BB) and Carlton; Evick 2S, rbi; Vincenzo 2rbi; Kinnick D, rbi; Kotopka S; Smith rbi; Carlton S; Loweecy S.