STEUBENVILLE - A solid performance in three phases of the game (pitching, hitting and fielding) lifted Big Red to a 13-0 victory over Brooke Tuesday at Vacarro Field.
Three days after drilling his initial varsity home run, Evan Westlake took to the hill and threw his first no-hitter. The senior righty faced just 17 batters (two over the minimum in the contest halted after four and a half innings).
One Bruin reached in the first on an error, a second was hit by a pitch in the second (he would be erased attempting to steal second thanks to a fine throw by catcher Kai McClurg) and a third drew a free pass an inning later.
FIRST BASE — Steubenville Big Red first base coach Joe Pierro talks with Cody Saltsman after a single during Tuesday’s 13-0 win over Brooke at Vaccaro Field.
-- Mike Mathison
MAKING A PLAY — Brooke second baseman Michael Kurcina makes a play to first base during Tuesday’s 13-0 loss to Steubenville Big Red at Vaccaro Field.
-- Miike Mathison
Following the walk, Westlake retired eight straight in helping Big Red improve its mark to 12-6. He got plenty of defensive assistance from shortstop Bryan Pierro, third baseman Lucas Herrington and second baseman John Linn.
"Evan did a good job for us today," Big Red's Fred Heatherington said. "He got ahead in the count, threw strikes and let our defense play. And, today, our defense was making plays."
Brooke's Ron Ujcich agreed with Heatherington's assessment, stating "Westlake kept us off balance. He threw a nice game, stayed ahead of us and has us chasing pitches."
After going quietly in the first, hitting became contagious for Big Red in the second. Westlake actually started the game-changing rally when he worked Brooke's Hunter Grishkevich for a lead-off walk. Pat Pizzoferrato broke out of his recent slump by drilling a single to center. McClurg followed with a base knock up the middle to score Westlake.
Mason Heatherington drove home a pair with his based-loaded double down the first base line. Pierro added a run-producing base hit up the middle. Linn's two-run double put the hosts ahead 6-0. Justin Corsi would also get a two-base knock, and it was 7-0 in favor of the Red.
Big Red sent 11 batters to the plate in the second and 10 more in the third when it scored four more runs. Pierro, Linn and Corsi all had RBIs. Pierro and Matt Petrella helped finish the scoring with their RBI doubles in the fourth.
"We hit the ball well today and we hit it hard," Heatherington, who earned his 480th coaching win, noted. "That's what I am most happy about. You have games where you get some bloops here and there, but today we hit it hard. I hope that can continue.
"We ran the bases well, we were able to get up on the big and Evan did the rest."
Pierro (he finished with 4 RBI), Linn, Petrella, Corsi and Pizzoferrato all had multiple hit games for the Big Red, which had 13 as a team.
Chad Harper and David Hardisty also saw action of the bump for the Bruins, now 4-18. Brooke will travel to Bellaire today.
"If we would have been able to get a few hits or a run in the first inning, that might have changed the tempo of the game," Ujcich added. "They hit the ball well, had those big innings and we never recovered."
Big Red will battle Catholic Central on Thursday before traveling to Brooke on Friday for a makeup date with the Bruins.
Big Red 13, Brooke 0
Brooke 000 00 - 0 0 3
Big Red 074 2x - 13 13 1
BROOKE (4-18): Grishkevich (LP, 0K, 1BB) Harper (2, 1K, 0BB) Hardisty (3, 2K, 0BB) and Harper, Hardisty (2), Harper (3).
STEUBENVILLE (12-6): Westlake (WP, 1K, 1BB) and McClurg. Pierro S, D, 4RBI; Linn S, D, 2RBI; Petrella S, D, RBI; Corsi S, D, 2RBI; Pizzoferrato 2S; McClurg S, RBI; Saltsman S; M. Heatherington D, 2RBI.