WEIRTON - Big Red's bats stayed hot Thursday, collecting 17 hits enroute to an 18-5, five-inning whipping of Weir High.
Coupled with its showing at Wheeling Park Wednesday (a 15-2 Steubenville win), Fred Heatherington's club has recorded 32 hits and 33 runs in rebounding from its opening loss to Toronto.
Jo Jo Pierro got the hit and run parade going when he put a charge into a first inning Zac Knuutila pitch and drove it over the left field fence at Ed Bowman Field. It was the second time in as many days that the senior was able to touch them all. He added a double and a single to finish with five RBIs.
SOLO SHOT — Steubenville’s JoJo Pierro is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a solo home run in the top of the first inning of Thursday’s 18-5 victory over Weir High at Bowman Field.
-- Mike Mathison
The youthful Red Riders took advantage of Matt Petrella's rocky start to plate three runs in the home half of the initial frame. Five walks and a bunt single from Will Larch produced the tallies.
Petrella settled in after that to record the victory. He allowed just three hits, walked six and struck out eight. Weir's other two runs came when freshman Mike Curtis ripped a two-run homer to left, scoring Harley Mills who singled in his only plate appearance.
"Matt had a shaky start," Heatherington said of his junior hurler. "Then he was able to settle down, start throwing strikes and pitch a decent game."
The now 2-1 Big Red took the lead for good by scoring six runs in the second. Mason Heatherington and Lucky McClurg both had two-run singles and Michael Camilletti laced a seeing-eye double down the third base line to plate two more.
The visitors got four more in the third thanks to run-producing doubles by Camilletti (the senior first baseman drilled his second off the fence in left-center) and Ryan Vojvodich.
Jo Jo Pierro's double accounted for two of Big Red's three tallies in the fourth frame.
Vojvodich's second two-base knock keyed Steubenville's four-run fifth. Bryan Pierro, Jo Jo Pierro and John Linn helped increase the advantage by driving home runs.
"From the beginning, our philosophy has always been put the ball in play, run the bases aggressively and put pressure on the defense," Heatherington noted. "We did that today. We were really hitting the ball hard."
Weir High, now 1-6, obviously felt that Big Red pressure as the Red Riders committed seven field miscues.
"We're a young team and we're taking our lumps right now," said Weir's Bob Rosnick. "Our goal remains to get better every day. Big Red is a strong team and they showed that today.
"Our schedule is tough, this was our fifth game in six days and our pitching staff is a little worn out."
Both teams are scheduled play doubleheaders Saturday. Big Red will travel to Coshocton County for games against host Warsaw Riverview and Hebron Lakewood. Weir will host Martins Ferry.
Steubenville 18, Weir High 5
Steubenville 164 34 - 18 17 3
Weir 302 00 - 5 3 7
STEUBENVILLE (2-1): Petrella (WP, 8K, 6BB) and Vojvodich; J. Pierro HR, D, S, 5 RBI; B. Pierro 3S, 3 RBI; McClurg 2S, 2 RBI; Camilletti 2D, 3 RBI; Vojvodich 2 D, RBI; Linn 2S, RBI; Heatherington S, 2 RBI.
WEIR HIGH (1-6): Knuutila (LP, 3K, 5BB), Russell (4, 1K 0BB) and Curtis; Curtis HR, 2RBI, Larch S; Mills S.