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BASEBALL: Huskies Win Fourth OVAC Championship

Harrison Central beats Steubenville, 11-4

May 5, 2013
By KIM NORTH, For the News-Register , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

STEUBENVILLE - For the fourth time since Harrison Central was formed through a consolidation, the Huskies can call themselves OVAC baseball champions.

Saturday afternoon at Vaccaro Field, No. 1 seeded Harrison Central (16-5) used a complete-game mound effort from Rashaen Mitchell in beating second-seeded Steubenville, 11-4, to capture the Class 4A title.

The 6-foot-7 senior southpaw struck out 11, including the last out of the game, and walked just two. He allowed five singles - four in the second inning when Big Red (15-6) tallied three of its runs.

"This feels great," Mitchell said. "When we started out as freshmen we didn't win too many games. Now that we've worked our way to the top, it feels good that we've won a title."

Harrison Central took advantage of whatever Steubenville would give it, and that turned out to be a lot as Big Red committed four errors and a pair of pitchers issued nine walks in six innings.

"Mitchell threw a good game," veteran Steubenville coach Fred Heatherington said. "Offensively, I thought we did well. We put the bat on the ball, and we were disciplined at the plate, but defensively, we were pitiful. Our defense killed us."

Harrison Central coach Justin Clifford agreed with Heatherington on Mitchell's outing, which included 116 pitches (71 strikes).

"We weren't thinking (of getting) seven innings from him," Clifford said. "We were thinking four or five, but he kept coming in and telling me he wanted to keep going.

"What can you say about the kid?"

The Huskies grabbed an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first.

Mitchell, who was on base all four times he went to the plate (three walks, single), drew a free pass with two outs from Big Red starter Anthony Zorne. When Mitchell took second on a passed ball, Heatherington elected to intentionally walk Nick Pelegreen. Drew Horn's ensuing chopper to third turned into an infield single to load the bases, but they didn't stay that way very long as Nick Staten walked on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run. A wild pitch during Rhett Kuryn's at-bat made it 2-0.

Big Red came right back with a three-spot in the second when Justin Corsi lined a leadoff single to left. One out later, Pat Pizzoferrato singled sharply to center. Kai McClurg's slow roller to short loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored one run and Lucas Herington's single to right on a 1-1 pitch chased home Pizzoferrato and McClurg to give Steubenville a 3-2 edge.

Mitchell helped himself out with a two-out opposite-field single to left that knocked in Dalton Rutter, who had walked, to tie the game at 3-3.

With Mitchell settling into a groove, the Huskies broke the game wide-open with a five-run fourth as all nine batters went to the plate.

A bases-loaded walk and wild pitch and ensuing error allowed the first three runs to score. Then Kuryn sent a drive to deep left for a run-scoring double, making it 8-3.

Matt Petrella's RBI single in the fifth made it 8-4, but Kuryn capped a three-run sixth with a sacrifice fly to center. That came after a wild pitch allowed another runner to score. Staten added an RBI single.

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