RICHMOND - Edison's hard-hitting Wildcats plated seven runs in the first two frames Friday then cruised to an 11-4 victory over Big Red.
"We came ready to play today, not just for one pitch, one at bat or one inning, but we came to play for seven innings," said Mike Collopy whose club fell on the road at Claymont Thursday. "We've been stressing that all year but it hasn't always been the case.
"We got the job done today. We hit the ball hard and put it in play. When you do that, good things usually happen."
The Wildcats put together four hits in the home half of the first to score three runs. Nolan Marcus ripped an RBI double down the third base line while Greg Stagani and Phil Hilt both had run-scoring singles.
Base knocks off the bats of Chad Wickham, Josh Pasek, Stagani and Alec Jones, combined with a Big Red fielding miscue, produced four Edison tallies in the second. Jones' hit drove home a pair.
"Absolutely," Collopy answered when asked if his team played better than it did Thursday.
Edison 11, Big Red 4
Big Red 002 002 0 - 4 10 5
Edison 341 300 x - 11 13 0
STEUBENVILLE (15-8): Petrella (LP, 1K, 2BB), Corsi (3, 2K, 2BB) and Vojvodich; Vojvodich D, RBI; B. Pierro 2S; McClurg 2S; Pizzoferrato 2S; J. Pierro S; Linn S, RBI; Petrella S, RBI.
EDISON (21-3): Stagani (WP, 12K, 1BB) Wickham (7, 1K, 0BB) and Bertha; Marcus T, D, S, 3RBI; Jones 3S, 2RBI; Wickham 3S, RBI; Stagani 2S, RBI; Hilt S, RBI; Pasek S, Smyth RBI.
"Talk to anybody and they'll tell you baseball is a game against yourself," he noted. "Usually when teams lose, they beat themselves. We came out today and did what we needed to do to win."
Edison, now 21-3, finished the contest with 13 hits. Marcus had a two-run triple in the fourth to go with a double and a single. Wickham and Jones both stroked three singles. Stagani added two safeties.
"They hit the ball the whole game," Big Red's Fred Heatherington said. "They put it in play hard and ran the bases well."
Stagani earned the pitching win, going six innings and recording 12 strikeouts. Wickham took over in the seventh.
"He's always going to be around the strike zone," Collopy said of Stagani's performance. "When your pitcher throws strikes and keeps batters on their toes, that always helps out your defense. We ask that of him and all of our pitchers."
Big Red got to Stagani for two runs in the third thanks to singles by Bryan Pierro and Lucky McClurg. Pat Pizzoferrato started the Steubenville sixth with a single, moved to third on Ryan Vojvodich's double and scored on Matt Petrella's bouncer to short. John Linn's base hit plated Vojvodich.
Bryan Pierro, McClurg and Pizzoferrato all finished with two hits.
"We got down 7-0 and could have easily put our heads down," Heatherington noted. "We didn't do that and I am proud of our kids for that. We battled the whole game and that's all we can ask from our kids."
Big Red's defense stepped up big late in the contest, recording double plays to thwart Edison rallies. Linn and B. Pierro combined for the twin killing in the fifth. In the sixth, McClurg grabbed a hard liner off an Edison bat and fired a perfect strike to first to complete the double play.
Both teams will enter Division II sectional action next week.
Big Red, 15-8, will test Beaver Local Wednesday. Edison will go Thursday against the winner of today's 4 p.m. game at Vaccaro Field between Indian Creek and Buckeye Local.