ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Sometimes it's not how hard you hit a baseball but where you put it in play that makes the difference.
The Steubenville Post 33 American Legion baseball team proved that old baseball adage to be true again during a 12-1, five-inning victory against struggling St. Clairsville Post 159 on a breezy Tuesday night at Memorial Park.
Most of Steubenville's eight hits came on balls that found holes in the infield or were soft liners that fell in safely. Post 33 (16-12) also made the most out of five walks, three hit batters and three St. Clairsville errors.
''No, we didn't exactly rip the ball," veteran Post 33 manager Mark Stacy said. ''But I thought we had some good at-bats, working the count. We got some key hits when we needed them to break the game open."
Most satisfying to Stacy was the excellent pitching performance turned in by Steubenville Catholic ace Steve Mihaylo. He needed 69 pitches to spin the complete-game four-hitter, striking out four and not issuing a walk. Twice he needed less than 10 pitches to set the side down in order and,delivered 13 first-pitch strikes while facing only 19 hitters.
''Mihaylo was solid," Stacy said. ''His command was outstanding and he got most of his pitches over the plate."
Three of the four hits managed by St. Clairsville came in the third inning when Post 159 scored its only run. Tyler McGary picked up the two-out RBI by rifling a single up the middle to score Grayson Loweecy, who opened the inning with a base knock. Bailey McGrath's single to left after the next two batters had been retired kept the inning alive for the hard-hitting McGary.
St. Clairsville manager Bruce Myers expressed his disappointment after his young team lost for the 19th time in 22 games. He was most upset with the miscues in the field that contributed to Steubenville's three-run second inning and the seven runs the visitors pushed across in the third.
''We're not thinking out there and we don't make plays that can get us out of innings,'' Myers said. ''It's been tough but this is a young team and most of them will be back with us next year. It is going to get better. We have to wait it out and keep working hard.''
Twice Post 33 batted around against St. Clairsville righty starter Austin Dorris, sending nine hitters to the plate in the second inning and 11 during the next inning.
The three-run second started with a one-out walk to Justin Corsi. Singles by Alex Porreca and John Linn loaded the bases and the first run crossed the plate when Kyle Laukert drew a walk. With two outs, JoJo Pierro picked up an RBI the hard way when he was drilled on the elbow by an inside pitch. An error let in the third run.
Steubenville collected five hits in the third inning, including a run-scoring double by Corsi, RBI singles from Luikart and Jimmy Panella, along with base knocks from Porreca and Alex Young. Two errors also allowed runs to cross the plate.
The hardest hit ball by a Steubenville player came in the fourth inning when Pat Pizzoferrato, batting for JoJo Pierro, belted a double into left center that scored Linn and Bryan Pierro to conclude the scoring.
Porreca was the only Post 33 player with more than one hit as he singled twice.
Moundsville 7, Wheeling 5
GLEN DALE - Todd Schmidt belted two home runs for Moundsville and Post 3 rallied for a victory against Area One rival Post 1.
Jake Lucas and John Mirandy each slapped two singles for Moundsville, while Shane Wellman and Tanner Hanna singled.
Matt Carnahan homered for Wheeling, while Dillon Williams had two singles and Patrick Biega plated two runs.