Steubenville’s fate is decided by two shaky innings
WELLSBURG — One big inning was undone by two bad ones.
The Jefferson County Post 33 Legion B Team baseball team led by three runs heading into the bottom of the second inning, but The Shield scored four runs in the third and five more in the sixth to rally for an 11-4 victory in six innings in the first game of a doubleheader at the 30th annual Beast of the East Tournament Saturday at Brooke.
“We came out hot,” Jefferson County coach Pat Pizzoferrato said. “That has been the story of our tournament. We came out and were hitting, and then our hitting died off. Their pitchers settled in. They made multiple pitching changes.”
The game was called after the sixth inning due to the tournament’s two-hour time line rule. The two-hour mark was surpassed in the bottom of the sixth.
“Baseball is a game you take pitch by pitch,” The Shield coach Ryan Herb said. “We were down 4-1 and 4-2, but it doesn’t matter to us. We are going to go until the last out.”
Jefferson County used two pitchers in the game.
Isaiah McCartney started the game, and he took the loss. McCartney struck out one, walked four and allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of work on the mound. Caesen Sutton pitched the rest of the way. He struck out one, walked four and allowed five runs on four hits.
The Shield used four pitchers.
Brooks Utt started the game, and he struck out two, walked two and allowed four runs on three hits in his one inning of work.
Eli Shiver came on in the second, and he also pitched one inning. Shiver struck out one, walked one and allowed one hit.
Gage Huffman pitched the next two innings, and he picked up the win. Huffman struck out two, walked one and gave up one hit.
Bryce Eagle pitched the final two innigs. He struck out one, while not walking a batter.
“Our pitchers settled in,” Herb said. “They started to hit better spots.”
Offensively, The Shield outhit Jefferson County, 12-5.
Aaron Ferguson finished with two singles and an RBI to lead the way for Post 33, Josh Maurer recorded a run-scoring single and Anthony LeFever added an RBI. Also, Brennan Scott and Scotty Mitchell each collected a base hit.
Five of The Shield’s 12 hits were doubles.
Chase Weihl collected a single, two doubles and two RBIs, Eagle tallied a single, two doubles and an RBI and Cory Cox contributed two singles and an RBI to lead the way offensively for the victors. Huffman also finished with a double.
Post 33 plated a run in the first. Ferguson led off the game with a base hit, and he scored when LeFever was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give Jefferson County an ealry 1-0 lead.
The Shield delivered a run in bottom half of the inning to tie the score. The run scored on an error.
Jefferson County collected three more runs in the second to build a 4-1 advantage. Ferguson and Maurer each ripped RBI singles, and the third run scored on an error.
The Shield cut into its deficit in the home half of the inning as Shriver singled home a run to make the score 4-2.
A four-run third inning enabled The Shield to take a 6-4 lead. Wiel and Eagle delivered back-to-back RBI doubles in the inning.
“We were up, but then we made a couple of small mistakes,” Pizzoferrato said. “They are a good team. We made some mistakes, and they were able to take advantage of them. We have younger kids. We made mistakes, and they took advantage of their opportunities.”
Five more runs in the sixth extending The Shield’s lead to 11-4. Weihl tallied an RBI double, Jared Wilson singled home a run and Cox brought home a run when he drew a bases-loaded walk.
Jefferson County committed six errors, while The Shield made two.
“For my money, there is nothing like it,” Herb said about playing in the Beast of the East. “It is the best value in America. We are going to play nine games this weekend.
“The kids did it. Both teams have awesome kids. They played their butts off.”
The Fayette Raiders defeated Jefferson County, 13-1, in five innings in Post 33’s second game of the day.
Jefferson County will wrap up play in the tournament today.
The Shield 11,
Jefferson County 4
Jefferson County 1-3-0 0-0-0 – 4 5 6
The Shield 1-1-4 0-0-5 – 11 12 2
JEFFERSON COUNTY: McCartney (LP, 4 1/3IP, 6R, 8H, 1K, 4BB), Sutton (1 2/3IP, 5R, 4H, 1K, 3BB) and Keeder.
THE SHIELD: Utt (1IP, 4R, 3H, 2K, 2BB),Shriver (1IP, 1H, 1K, 1BB), Huffman (WP, 0R, 1H, 2K, 1BB), Eagle (2IP, 0R, 0H, 1K, 0BB) and Brace
TWO OR MORE HITS: Jefferson County (Ferguson 2); The Shield 3 (Cox 2, Weihl 3, Eagle 3). DOUBLES: Jefferson County none; The Shield 5 (Weihl 2, Eagle 2, Huffman). TRIPLES: Jefferson County none; The Shield none. HOME RUNS: Jefferson County none; The Shield none. RBIs: Jefferson County 3 (Ferguson, Maurer, LeFever); The Shield (Weihl 2, Cox, Shriver, Eagle, Wilson).