TORONTO - Based on Monday's outcome, Brian Perkins may want to give his baseball team more weekends off.
Ralph King was solid on the Knight Baseball Complex hill and the offense manufactured just enough runs as Toronto nipped Big Red 6-5.
"We had a bad week last week so we took the weekend off to clear our heads," Perkins said. "Our kids showed up today ready to go. We had a great workout before the game and we came out and hit the ball. It was a good team victory over a very good Big Red club."
King scattered five hits in going the distance as the Red Knights improved to 13-7. He held the Big Red hitless until the fourth and worked his way out of a seventh-inning jam.
"Ralph came through with a real gutsy performance," Perkins noted. "The kids behind him really fielded the ball well (King has just one strikeout during the contest)."
Matt Petrella was the hard-luck loser. He allowed just three hits, but Big Red was guilty of six fielding miscues. He also didn't surrender a hit until the fourth.
"We can't make plays, and when you don't make plays, you're not going to beat anyone," Fred Heatherington was quick to point out. "We have bad at-bats, we take them the field and we pout.
"That's why we don't make plays."
Toronto scored its first run in the second without the benefit of a base hit. Vance Goddard reached on an error, moved to second on the overthrow and to third on a passed ball. King was hit by a pitch. Goddard scored when Big Red's attempt to pickoff King failed.
Big Red's bats showed some signs of life in the fourth. Lucky McClurg started the inning with a single. He stole second and scampered home on Pat Pizzoferrato's double down the third base line. Ryan Vojvodich made it 3-1 when he unloaded a bomb into the trees behind left field.
Tyler Antinone got Toronto's fourth going when he singled to left. He made it to second via after failed pickoff attempt. Goddard and John Romey were both hit by Petrella pitches to load the bases with no outs. King was safe on another Big Red error, Antinone scoring.
Petrella, to his credit, worked out of the jam, thanks to a pop fly, a strikeout and a stellar play by shortstop Bryan Pierro.
The Knights tied it in the sixth. Spencer Sninchak was safe on an error, swiped second and reached third on a passed ball. He touched the play following Goddard's fly to center.
Toronto took the lead for good with three tallies in the sixth. John Marriner arrived at second thanks to a two-base error. He scampered to third on an infield grounder that produced the second out of the frame. He would score when Tyler Owens was safe thanks to a fielding miscue.
A single by Austin Lucas plated Owens. Sninchek followed with a screaming liner to left, good for a run-producing double.
Big Red wasn't about to go home without a fight. Petrella reached on Toronto's only error of the contest. John Linn walked and both moved up on a pass ball. Evan Westlake's base knock scored Petrella.
Bryan Pierro's fly to left allowed Linn to tag and cross the plate. King then knuckled down and recorded the final two outs.
Even though they were held to three hits, the Red Knights got good metal on the ball all night.
"I talked to the kids about that," Perkins said. "If we keep hitting the ball hard, we can't be upset with that. Eventually they're going to fall and we were fortunate enough tonight to get some runs when the ball did fall.
"We're just real excited to get a victory today."
Toronto is back in action Wednesday, visiting Bridgeport.
Big Red drops to 13-7 with the loss and will host Union Local today.
"Right now we're thinking about ourselves and not Big Red," Heatherington noted. "Until we start thinking about Big Red, we're not going to win anything."
Toronto 6, Big Red 5
Big Red 000 300 2 - 5 5 6
Toronto 010 113 x - 6 3 1
STEUBENVILLE (13-7): Petrella (LP, 2K, 2BB, 3 HBP) and Vojvodich; Vojvodich HR, 2 RBI; Pizzoferrato D, RBI; Westlake 2S; McClurg S; B. Pierro RBI.
TORONTO (13-7): King (WP, 1K, 2BB, 1 HBP) and Solomon; Sninchak D, RBI; Antinone S; Lucas S.