STEUBENVILLE - Steubenville Big Red senior Justin Corsi had the type of sectional performance the past two days that most high school athletes only dream about.
A day after Corsi confounded East Liverpool hitters with a no-hitter during a 3-1 win, he swung a big bat with a four-hit, four-RBI performance in Big Red's 14-3 sectional title win over Buckeye Local Saturday at Vaccaro Field.
"Last few times out he struggled on the mound," said Big Red head coach Fred Heatherington. "Last night he did and it carried over today with the bat. He's been struggling a little bit with the bat also, but he's a streak hitter. Once he starts hitting he's going to hit the ball. Hopefully he's going to keep it going."
In a game Big Red was never really threatened by the Panthers, it was Corsi that got things going in the opening frame. Steubenville led 1-0 with the bases loaded when Corsi stepped to the plate for the first time. He proceeded to send a fly ball to right field that found a hole for a double that cleared the bases.
"I definitely think momentum from Friday is a factor," said Corsi. "It's all about if you can get hot at the right time. I think we're getting hot right now. I just hope we can keep it going."
On his second at-bat he singled and later scored to make the game 7-0 in the third and had an RBI-single and scored to put the margin at 9-0 in fourth. He stepped to the plate twice in the sixth, singling in his first at-bat and lining out to right to end his day 4-for-5 at the plate. Even his lone out of the day was a rocket that, fortunately for Buckeye Local, went right to a Panther.
Corsi's big day at the plate was preceded by his impressive 10-strikeout no hitter against the Potters. East Liverpool couldn't figure Corsi out all evening, and scored only an unearned run on the senior who is heading to Bethany.
"I felt pretty good," said Corsi of Friday's performance. "The last couple times out I felt I didn't do a good enough job for the team. I felt I did a really good job trying to get back in the motion and throwing strikes. My team did a really good job helping me out. They made plays, they scored runs. It was just a whole team thing. The team won the game."
The win keeps a hot streak going for that has seen the highly ranked Big Red squad win 20 of its last 22 games, including 12 straight.
"We're sectional champs, said Heatherington. "Proud of the team. The kids have been working hard all year. Every coach says that about their team, but our kids worked their tails off, and we're 22-4. Right now we're ranked second in the state and deservedly so."
For Corsi being at this point is about the senior enjoying himself, as this is the most success he's experienced during his career at Big Red.
"I wouldn't say it's pressure," said Corsi. "I'd say it's fun. We've never gotten this far while I've been here. This is the best season we've had in my career, since Bryan (Pierro) and I have been playing. We're just having fun, enjoying the ride, and seeing where it takes us."