STEUBENVILLE - A big inning and an old trick played major roles in Post 33's 6-5 victory over Cadiz Post 34 Tuesday at Vaccro Field.
After being sent down in order in the first inning, the hosts took the lead for good by plating five runs in the second.
Justin Corsi, Steubenville's lead-off hitter, dropped anchor at second after drilling a Chase Hopkins pitch to deep left-center. Pat Pizzoferrato drew a walk and Kai McClurg was clipped by a pitch to load the sacks. Branden Jones scored two with his single through the right side.
McClurg came home on a throwing error after Jones was caught in a run-down between first and second. Jimmy Bolyog delivered a base knock to plate Jones. The fifth tally came via Niko Petrides' RBI hit.
"The big inning won the game for us," said Post 33's Fred Heatherington. "More importantly for us, we were able to get everyone into the game and that was our goal. We are trying to get ready for the upcoming tournament."
Cadiz plated three in the fourth, thanks to RBI from Nick Staten, David Brown and Dustin Redish. Post 33 responded with a tally of its own in the home half of the frame. Bolyog led off with a triple down the rightfield line. He scampered home on Gino Pierro's grounder.
Post 33 6, Post 34 5
Post 34 0 0 0 3 2 0 0-5 14 1
Post 33 0 5 0 1 0 0 x-6 7 0
Post 34 (4-14): Hopkins (LP, 2BB, 4K, 1HBP) and Staten. Borkoski HR, 2S, RBI; Hopkins T, D, S; Staten D, S, RBI; Williams 2S, RBI; Redish S, RBI; Marshall S; Dunfee S; Brown S, RBI.
Post 33 (14-9): Murphy (WP, 1BB, 4K) A. Zorne (4, 1BB, 2K) N. Zorne (5, 1BB) Porreca (6, Save) and McClurg. Corsi D; Jones 2S, 2RBI; Bolyog T, S, RBI; Petrides S, RBI; G. Pierro S, RBI.
"Bolyog didn't play over the weekend down in Chillicothe, but he came up with some big hits today," Heatherington pointed out. "When our guys know they are going to play, they come ready and we get production out of them."
Jerry Graham's club came right back in the fifth, scoring a pair. John Borkoski jumped on a Nick Zorne pitch and drove it over the fence in left center, near the 360 mark. Staten earned a free pass and moved to third on Matt Dunfee's single. Eric Williams' grounder to second allowed Staten to touch home. Dunfee appeared to score the game tying run when David Brown chopped one to short. However, after a Post 33 appeal, Dunfee was called out for not touching the dish.
"Their runner stepped right over the plate," Heatherington explained. "We appealed it and got the call."
In the Cadiz seventh, Borkoski reached via an infield single and Staten followed with a base knock, putting two on with no outs. That's when Post33 turned to the old hidden ball trick.
As Borkoski took his lead, he was calmly tagged by shortstop G. Pierro who was hiding the ball in his glove. Aleks Porreca, the fourth pitcher used by Post 33 in the contest, retired two of the next three Cadiz hitters to earn the save.
"The hidden ball trick was big," Heatherington stated. "They had two on with no outs and the tying run was at second. Sometimes you have to do other things to win a game and today was one of those days."
Graham called the hidden ball trick "costly" for his now 4-14 club.
"That's a smart play," he admitted. "We had a bad inning and gave up a few runs. But to their credit, our kids fought back and were able to get close."
Chris Murphy started on the hill for Post 33 and earned the victory. He worked three scoreless innings, striking out four. He dodged trouble in the first after surrendering a lead-off triple up the alley in right center Hopkins. The Catholic Central senior-to-be then walked Redish before retiring three straight.
He also worked his way out of a jam in the third. Hopkins lacked a one-out double down the line in left. One batter later, Austin Marshall singled, putting runners at the corners. Marshall attempted to steal second but was gunned down on a McClurg throw to G. Pierro.
The Zorne brothers (Anthony and Nick) worked an inning each before Porreca took over.
Hopkins went the distance for Post 34, which is scheduled to host Toronto today. After the second, the Buckeye Local product allowed just two hits.
"He (Hopkins) threw a good game for us," Graham noted. "All the pitchers did a pretty good job."
Cadiz finished with 14 hits compared to seven for Post 33. Hopkins and Borkoski had three apiece while Staten and Williams each had two.
"We have our good days and bad days when it comes to hitting the ball," Graham pointed out. "Today was definitely better than average."
Post 33 now is14-9 and is scheduled visit St. Clairsville today before traveling to Toronto Thursday.