STEUBENVILLE - The third time proved to be the charm once again for the Steubenville baseball team. But instead of winning its first game against St. Clairsville this season, Big Red won all three of its contests against the Red Devils. Steubenville won 7-3 during Thursday's meeting between the two teams at Vaccarro Field.
"We had good timely hitting today," Big Red head coach Fred Heatherington said. "We got a lot of runs in with one or two outs. If we can keep doing that, we will be successful. The last few games we've been getting those hits, and we've been scoring some runs. That's a benefit for us."
Big Red's offense started the contest with a bang in its half of the first inning.
THROW TO FIRST — Big Red’s Bryan Pierro makes the throw to first for an out as teammate John Linn looks on during Big Red’s 7-3 win over St. Clairsville Thursday in Steubenville.
-- Fred Younce
Bryan Pierro reached first base when the ball was bobbled on a comeback to the pitcher. St. Clairsville's pitcher compounded the problem by throwing the ball into the dirt toward first base. The errant throw allowed Brian Pierro to reach second base. Lucky McClurg was the next to bat, and he reached first base after he was hit by a pitch.
An out later, Pat Pizzoferrato drove a grounder into the glove of the Red Devils' third baseman. The fielder chose to get an out at first, which allowed Bryan Pierro to score.
Two more runs were added by Steubenville when Mike Camilletti doubled to the base of the left field wall. McClurg scored. And Ryan Vojvodich followed suit with a double in the left-center field gap. Camilletti scored. Both doubles came with two outs in the inning.
Big Red had an early 4-0 lead. It's all starting pitcher JoJo Pierro needed.
JoJo Pierro finished a complete game effort despite losing a battle with a bad contact lens. JoJo Pierro rocked the Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn rims for the final two innings, while he finished the Red Devils. During four of the seven innings pitched, JoJo Pierro sat down St. Clairsville 1-2-3 during its half of the frame.
"He worked fast, and he threw strikes," Heatherington stated. "If our pitchers are throwing strikes, our defense is on its toes and making plays in the field. That's what we did."
St. Clairsville was finally able to get to JoJo Pierro in the seventh inning. The Red Devils scored two runs. The highlight was a towering home run by Corey Kotopka which sailed over the Vaccarro Field's scoreboard in left-center field.
"We're starting to make too many errors," St. Clairsville skipper Tom Sliva said.
"Plus, we haven't been able to get that big one or two-out hit. We have to pick up our defense. We are definitely not satisfied with three or four errors per game.
St. Clairsville finished with four errors against Steubenville.
"We need to make more plays when the other team has players in scoring position with two outs," Sliva continued. "We will work to tighten up the defense, and we'll look for some key hits. We have to focus on both aspects."
Big Red added runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings. Matt Petrella and Camilletti each registered a RBI. Camilletti finished 3-of-4 from the plate.
The next opponent for both teams is Edison. Big Red travels to Jefferson Lake today to face the Wildcats, while St. Clairsville will make the trip at 11 a.m. Saturday.
"We have to come out and play hard no matter who the opponent is," Heatherington finished. "If we do that, then we'll be successful."
Steubenville 7, St. Clairsville 3
St. Clairsville 001 000 2 - 3 7 4
Steubenville 401 011 x - 7 10 1
ST. CLAIRSVILLE (15-6): Loweecy (LP, 3K); Kinnick (IP, 2K) and Kotopka. Evick s; Vincenzo s; Kinnick 2-s, RBI; Kotopka hr, RBI; Griffin d; Carlton s, RBI.
STEUBENVILLE (15-7): J.Pierro (WP, 2K) and Vojvodich. B.Pierro 2-s; McClurg s; J.Pierro 2-s; Camilletti d, 2-s, 2RBI; Vojvodich d, RBI; Petrella s, RBI.