WEIRTON - Jimmy Bolyog's pinch-hit wind-blown fly ball down the left field line plated two runs that proved to be decisive as Steubenville American Legion Post 33 took a 6-4 win over Weirton American Legion Post 10 Sunday afternoon at Ed Bowman Field.
Post 33 righthander Ryan Bernard scattered 11 hits in going the distance for Post 33's 22nd regular-season win in 36 games. Steubenville now heads into tournament play Wednesday in Coshocton.
"We ran the bases well early in the game, but not so well later on," said victorious coach Mark Stacy. "We had a lot of chances early in the game and a lot of chances with guys on second and third with less than two outs but we didn't score any runs."
On the other side, Post 10 veteran Matt Cessna, after the first inning, worked his way out of those jams and yielded four runs on six hits in the five innings he pitched. Kyle Woodruff worked the sixth inning and gave up the two Steubenville runs on three hits and was charged with the loss.
It was the Post 10 defense once again that let coach Bill Magnone's nine down with three errors.
"I'm beginning to sound like a broken record because every time I talk to you it is about how our defense lets us down," said Magnone whose team now is 15-11. "We basically gave them three runs in the first inning and those two in the sixth. We're definitely hitting the ball. If we would just start catching it we'd be dangerous.
Steubenville 6, Weirton 4
Post 33 301 001 0 - 6 9 0
Post 10 000 012 1 - 4 11 3
POST 33: Bernard (WP, 3BB, 4K) and McClurg. Pierro D, 2S, R, 2SB; Linn R, SB; Zorne R; Bolyog 2B, 2RBI; Pizzoferrato S, 2R; Petrides 2S; McClurg, S, RBI; Murphy 2B, S, R.
POST 10: Cessna (2BB, 2K), Woodruff (6th, LP, 1BB, 1K), Sylvestri (7th, 1BB, 1K) and Reardon, Bowser (7th). Woodruff 2S, D, R, RBI; Welch 2S; Bowser S; Cessna S, R; Viakely S, 2B; Porter S, R, RBI; Sylvestri R; Hockenberry S, RBI.
"Matt (Cessna) did a great job on the mound and he really isn't even one of our pitchers. He pitched some in high school but here over the summer he's only pitched a few innings here and there. But he did well today. He's a gutty kid and will do anything you ask of him."
Steubenville jumped on Weirton in the first inning when Bryan Pierro led off the game with a single and after an out, went to second on Anthony Zorne's walk.
Both runners moved up on a double steal and Pierro scored on a wild pitch.
Pat Pizzoferrato's roller went for a single and then got through the Weirton outfielder with Zorne scoring from second base. Pizzoferrato, who went to second on the play, came around to score when Niko Petrides' sharp grounder was misplayed at first base.
Steubenville plated another run in the bottom of the third inning as Pizzoferrato was hit by a Cessna pitch, went to third on a Petrides single to right field and scored on Kai McClurg's RBI liner to left.
Post 10 began chipping away at Steubenville's lead and made it 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Woodruff, who had three hits in four trips to the plate, got on with a one out liner to center field. Kelaen Welch followed with a hit and Will Bowser legged out a hit on a grounder to deep shortstop loading the bases. Will Larch followed with a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Woodruff.
Steubenville retaliated with two runs in the top of the sixth inning off of Woodruff, who took over for Cessna. Chris Murphy's one-out single to left started the uprising. He went to second on Pierro's infield single. John Linn's fielder's choice grounder to second erased Pierro with Murphy gliding into third.
Linn stole second to set up Bolyog's fly ball near the left field line that scored Murphy and Linn.
"I asked Will (Larch), our left fielder, about that fly ball and he said he thought he was going to get it, but the wind just kept blowing it away from him. That's baseball," said Magnone.
Those were the decisive runs because Post 10 came back with two scores in the bottom of the sixth and another in the seventh.
In the sixth, Zac Porter singled to right with one out and went to second on a walk to Dom Sylvestri. After a wild pitch moved the runners up, Sam Hockenberry's sharp grounder through the box was deflected to Linn at second base, who threw him out as Porter crossed the plate. Sylvestri scored on Woodruff's RBI double to right.
Post 10 made the score 6-4 in the seventh with a run. Cessna singled to left field and Mitch Viakely ripped a liner to left that went for a double. Cessna scored from third on a Porter groundout. But Bernard struck out the final Post 10 batter to preserve the victory.
In addition to Pierro's three-hit game, Petrides had two singles. Welch and Viakely each had two hits for Post 10, whose next game will be on the road at St. Marys Tuesday.
Post 10 returns to play two key Area One games Wednesday against Wheeling and Thursday with Moundsville both at home.