LANCASTER - Post 33 will open the American Legion State Baseball Tournament today at 7 p.m. at Beavers Field against the winner of a 10 a.m. game today between Sandusky (36-12) and Pickerington (48-3).
"The key to the state tournament is to stay out of the loser's bracket," said Steubenville coach Mark Stacy. "There are very few teams who can weather the tournament after being put in the loser's bracket early. If you lose that first game, you are behind the 8-ball in a big way.
"As an assistant coach, I've seen us come out of the loser's bracket and win the tournament, but it's awfully tough to do that.
"We will need out starting pitchers to pitch deep into games. Every team needs their starters to pitch into the seventh and eighth innings.
"We're not particularly deep, so we really need our starters to go deep into games. If we start relieving in games we win and in games we lose, we will put ourselves into a big disadvantage."
A Post 33 win puts the squad into a 7 p.m. game Tuesday at Beavers Field. A loss means a 1 p.m. game Tuesday at Lancaster High School in the double-elimination tournament.
JoJo Pierro will be on the mound tonight for Steubenville, winners of the District 10 tournament with four wins, including two exciting victories over Wayne County.
"Those were very memorable games for us," said Stacy. "We had good games with them during the year.
"I thought our district, like most other places, was wide open. I think we proved during the year that we could lose to anybody in our district and we could beat anybody in our district.
"It was all about which team was playing the best at the end and I guess that was us."