STEUBENVILLE - The score stood 2-1, Wheeling Post 1 over Steubenville Post 33 after one inning of play Wednesday at Vaccaro Field.
From there Post 33 pitcher Brandon Jones shut down Wheeling's hitters, and Steubenville's bats caught fire en route to a 12-2 win in five innings.
Jones gave up two runs on four hits while striking out four and issuing two free passes. The Steubenville pitcher gave up both runs and three of those hits in the first inning before dominating action the rest of the way.
DOUBLE — Lucas Herrington turns on a a pitch for a second inning double during Post 33’s 12-2 win over Wheeling Post 1 Wednesday at Vaccaro Field.
-- Fred Younce
"He settled down and pitched great," said Coach Don Young. "His first time out there with us, and he pitched really well. He worked quick, threw strikes, just everything we expect from him."
Wheeling opened the scoring in the top of the first. Nate Bakaitis connected for a single, and ultimately scored on a wild pitch for the first run. Russell Schwertfeger scored the second run. The Brooke product singled, stole two bases and scored on a Jesse Hartley sacrifice fly.
Steubenville went on to score 12 unanswered runs.
"The past two games we haven't played Post 1 baseball," said Post 1 head coach Rick Szeligo. "We're not having good at-bats at all. Players haven't been focused. We really need to step it up here on out.
"We have a big week and a long season to finish."
Post 33 first got on the board with a Jimmy Panella RBI single that plated Brenton Colabella in the bottom of the opening frame. Colabella reached base on a single and stole second to get in scoring position.
The second inning saw two more cross the plate for the home team. A Justin Corsi walk was followed by a Lucas Herrington double to left that put runners at second and third. Bryan Pierro didn't let them stay there long, singling home the pair for the 3-2 Post 33 lead.
Then came back-to-back four-run innings.
The third inning saw Pat Pizzoferrato drive in Colabella and Panella with a single. McClurg pushed home Pizzoferrato on a fielder's choice and Pierro singled home John Linn.
The lead grew to 11-2 in the fourth as Pizzoferrato blasted an RBI double off the top of the fence in left, Linn connected for an run-scoring single and Pierro drove in two more runs with a base hit. Jimmy Bolyog put an end to the evening's festivities with a single that sent Colabella home for the 12-2 victory.
Domenic Ellis was saddled with the loss, issuing four walks with no strikeouts before being replaced by Tyler Ashbrook with no outs in the third inning. Ashbrook went the rest of the way, striking out one and walking two.
Steubenville's offensive production was led by Pierro's three-hit, five-RBI performance. Pizzoferrato connected for a single, double and drove home three. Colabella had two singles and a double to go with four runs scored.
"For one thing we were facing a righty," said Young of his team's big day at the plate. "A couple days of left-handers threw us off a little bit. I thought we swung the bat better all the way through the lineup.
"Everyone did something to help the team today."
Steubenville (15-4) heads to the Chillicothe Tournament Friday.
Steubenville 12, Wheeling 2
Wheeling 200 00 - 2 4 0
Steubenville 124 41 - 12 13 0
POST 1: Ellis (LP, 0K, 4BB), Ashbrook (3rd, 1K, 2BB) and Yocke. Bakaitis S, R; Schwertfeger S, R; Hartley RBI; Ellis D; Felt S.
POST 33: Jones (WP, 4K, 2BB) and McClurg. Pierro 3S, 5RBI; Colabella 2S, D, 4R; Panella 2S, RBI, 2R; Pizzoferrato S, D, 3RBI, 2R; Linn 2S, RBI, 2R; Bolyog S, RBI; Corsi S, R; Herrington D, R; McClurg RBI.