STEUBENVILLE-Big Red exploded for eight runs in the home half of the fourth Wednesday and cruised to a 9-2 victory against Beaver Local in Division II sectional semifinal play at Vaccaro Field.
Fred Heatherington's club will take a 16-8 mark into Saturday's lower bracket final against the survivor of today's Edison-Buckeye Local tussle. Coach Bill Sattler and his Beavers finished at 11-12.
Six hits, five walks and a pair of Beaver Local fielding miscues fueled the game-changing rally (Big Red began its at bat trailing 2-1). Steubenville sent 13 batters to the plate.
Senior catcher Ryan Vojvodich did the most damage for the third-seeded Big Red, knocking in three runs during the uprising with a double and a single. Bryan Pierro, Pat Pizzoferrato, Michael Camilletti, Matt Petrella and John Linn all cracked the RBI column.
"We hit the ball hard, especially late in the game," Heatherington said. "During the first couple of innings, we didn't put the ball in play. After that, we did. We ran the bases well and got some runs."
Beaver Local starter Ryan Smith sat the Big Red down 1-2-3 in the first. Pizzoferrato started the second by launching a triple to right. He touched the plate thanks to Camilletti's base knock.
Justin Corsi went the distance on the hill for Big Red. The sophomore allowed a pair of runs in the third on singles by Brandon Fetty, Matt Chamberlain (RBI) and Blake McLaughlin (RBI). Other than that, he was in control. He retired 10 of 12 batters he faced during the middle of the game.
The right-hander didn't surrender a walk until the seventh, Kevin Sevey getting the leadoff free pass. He was immediately erased when Big Red third baseman Lucky McClurg fielded a shot of the bat of Sam Frank and started the 5-4-3 twin killing.
"He (Corsi) threw well," Heatherington noted. "He got ahead in the county and kept our defense on its toes. If our pitchers can do that, good things are going to happen for us. We gave them a couple of runs, made a few errors but that's the way it goes.
"They got that walk in the seventh but then we turn a great double play to get out of what could have been a jam."
Camilletti paced Big Red's 10-hit attack with three singles. Vojvodich and Petrella had two hits each.
"They're a good team and we walked the first two guys in their big inning," Sattler said. "Sometimes that's all a good team needs is an opportunity like that. Then they got a few hits, we didn't make plays and things kind of snowballed."
Fetty accounted for two of Beaver Local's six hits off Corsi.