LANCASTER - Post 33 had its season come to an end at the Ohio American Legion State Baseball Tournament Wednesday afternoon, but not without a fight.
Down 11-9 and to its final three outs, Steubenville put a scare into Sandusky with a leadoff double by pinch-hitter Pat Pizzoferrato and a single by JoJo Pierro to make it 11-10, but a double play and a strikeout ended the threat and Post 33's season.
"We didn't play our best defensive game, but we battled all the way through," said Post 33 coach Mark Stacy. "I can tell you we clearly played some of the better teams in the tournament.
YEAR ENDS IN LANCASTER — Members of Post 33 celebrate a run during earlier this week at the state tournament. Steubenville’s season ended Wednesday after an 11-10 loss to Sandusky in Lancaster.
-- Photo courtesy Janis Worklan
"We are only losing Joe Pierro and Josh Malesky to eligibility. They embraced the leadership role this year. In the past they didn't have to be, but this year we needed somebody to lead and they did."
Pierro opened the game with the first of his five walks and eventually scored on Brenton Colabella's single.
Post 33 made it a 7-0 game with six in the top of the second inning.
John Linn singled, Kai McClurg reached on an error and Pierro walked to load the sacks. Alex Young walked to plate Linn and, one out later, McClurg scored on a wild pitch. Colabella reached on a fielder's choice to score Pierro and Young scored on an error. With two outs, Bryan Pierro was hit by a pitch and Aleks Porreca walked to load the bases again.
Linn doubled for his second hit of the inning to bring home Colabella and Bryan Pierro.
Sandusky scored two with two outs in the second, plated three in the third, two in the fourth (after two outs) and one in the sixth with two outs to make it 8-7.
Steubenville came right back in the top of the seventh.
JoJo Pierro walked again and came home on Young's triple. Jimmy Panella brought in Young with a sacrifice fly.
Sandusky scored three more times in the bottom of the eighth inning on four walks, a double and a balk.
"I just want to thank the Teramana brothers, who I think are the best sponsors in American Legion baseball for all they do for us," said Stacy. "I also want to thank Bob Cook, Bob Fellows, Greg Antinone, Greg Besozzi, Jim Blackburn, Anthony Pierro Sr. and Mary Reeves for all they do to help our program. In addition, I want to thank Jon Emmerling, Mitch Morelli and Joe Bahen for all their help to our program this year.
"I want to thank our coaching staff - Don Morrison, Teek Mort and Paul Koniski. I want to thank them for all of their hard work this year.
"As a staff, we want to thank our team for a fun year and for their commitment to our program and dedication. As a coach, viewing the process from start to finish is what you really enjoy and this year has been extra fun. We started out feeling our way and we were not sure where our pieces fit together.
"I think we really struggled through some tough times this season, but our kids continued to get better. It was fun to watch them go from start to finish. It's clear they gave us everything they had. Since we won championship in '07, we had a four-year absence from the state tournament and it was really fun to get back there and play the better teams in the state and play with them until the very end."
Sandusky 11, Steubenville 10
Steubenville 160 000 201 - 10 10 3
Sandusky 023 201 03x - 11 10 3
STEUBENVILLE: Corsi (2K, 2BB), Malesky (4, 2K, 3BB), J. Pierro (LP, 1K, 2BB) and McClurg; J. Pierro S; Young T, 3rbi; Penalla D, rbi; Colabella S, 2rbi; Linn 2S, D, 2rbi; McClurg S; Pizzoferrato D; Malesky D.
SANDUSKY: Laser (1K, 4BB), Waldock (WP, 6K, 5BB) and Keegan; Drake S; Keegan HR, D, S, 3rbi; Shullick D, S, rbi; Butler S, rbi; Bryant S, rbi; Manner S; Freohlic S.