STEUBENVILLE - The 2013 incarnation of the Steubenville Big Red baseball team got the school's 80th season off to a strong start Monday at Vaccaro Field.
A solid performance on the mound by Justin Corsi was backed by no fielding errors and an offense that produced 13 hits to give Big Red an 11-1 victory against John Marshall in six innings.
"We've been hitting well in practice," said Steubenville coach Fred Heatherington, now in his 25th season. "The thing you're unsure of is how your pitchers are going to pitch on the mound and how your defense is going to play.
"We did both exceptionally well."
Corsi struck out five Monarchs batters and surrendered four hits to pick up the victory.
"It was a good outing," Heatherington said. "The thing we're most pleased about is the last column on the scoreboard, no errors. When you're in the gym and on the turf it's a little different than fielding on the dirt, but Justin threw strikes and we made plays in the field.
"That's what we're happy about."
Big Red gave Corsi an early advantage, driving in three in the bottom of the first. Bryan Pierro drew a leadoff walk followed by a John Linn single. Matt Petrella drove both in with a triple to make the score 2-0 Big Red. Pat Pizzoferrato drove picked up the first of his four RBI on a single that plated Petrella.
Two innings later, Steubenville pushed its lead to 5-0. Kai McClurg smacked a double that brought home Corsi, who reached on a fielder's choice. Evan Westlake, who was walked, later scored on a Lucas Herrington sacrifice fly to right field.
Pizzoferrato drove in two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Pierro and Petrella crossed in the frame when he hit the first of his two doubles.
John Marshall scored its lone run of the evening on a Zach Winland double that drove in Shane Wellman.
"I don't feel bad about anything," John Marshall coach Bob Montgomery said. "It's a Steubenville opener. Coming here we're thin on the mound.
"We have two pitchers out. We have two position players out.
"It's April 1 and baseball scores are like this sometimes."
The game ended with a four-run sixth by the home team. Pizzoferrato's second double drove in Petrella for the third time, and he later scored on a wild pitch. Glen Perdue and Westlake both drew walks and then scored on a Mason Heatherington single.
"We're 3-3," said Montgomery. "Three pretty good and three not so good. We got our guy on the mound (today) at Park.
"Pitching's the name of the game. We're about as thin as we've been at John Marshall. Like I said, two of them are hurt, so we're still real hopeful. Steubenville played a real nice game. We're very familiar with their program."