Self-inflicted wounds hurt Big Red in shutout
STEUBENVILLE — One bad defensive inning and a couple of missed opportunities played critical roles in Steubenville’s 7-0 loss to Dover Monday at Vaccaro Field.
The visitors, now 16-4, loaded the bases against Big Red starter Andrew Gresko in the second with one out. The senior lefty induced an infield fly for the second out and appeared to have escaped the jam when the next Dover batter lofted a fly to center.
Unfortunately, the ball was dropped and two runs scored. Mason Stoldt then delivered a two-run triple to make it 4-0. Another Steubenville error and a run scoring off the bat of Ben Hamm gave Dover two more runs.
“Andrew battled — he battled his butt off,” Steubenville coach Fred Heatherington said. “He didn’t deserve to lose 7-0, but we had that bad second inning and allowed six unearned runs. He battled the entire game, and we can’t ask for anything more.”
After the second, Gresko kept Dover scoreless and hitless until the sixth when Brennan McCune came through with an RBI single. That run also came with two outs. For the night, Gresko allowed eight hits and recorded five strikeouts. Stoldt went the distance to earn the pitching victory. He scattered seven hits.
Steubenville (12-7), who remains one win away from the program’s 1,400th victory, threatened in the fifth. Aaron Ferguson singled, Cooper Blackburn was hit by a pitch and Gresko drew a walk to load the sacks. Big Red’s next hitter, Zach Francis, sent a shot down the third-base line that was snagged by McCune. He then stepped on the bag to complete the inning-ending double play.
Heatherington’s crew mounted another threat in the sixth. Caesen Sutton and Kye Fleming delivered back-to-back singles.
After the second out was recorded, Ferguson singled again to fill the bases. A bouncer back to the mound led to the final out.
Sutton had a double to go along with his single. He and Ferguson were the only Steubenville players to deliver multiple hits.
“I was impressed with the fact that we never quit,” Heatherington said. “Our guys played a seven-inning game. Earlier in the year, we would have put our heads down and given it away, but we did not do that (Monday).
“We had a chance to get some runs on the board, but we just couldn’t get the timely hit. If we had, it would have been a different game. We hit balls hard but right at them. It wasn’t a 7-0 shutout, I mean it was, but it wasn’t. We deserved a better fate than what we got — Andrew did for sure.”
Stoldt collected a single to go with his three-bagger, while Connor McGarry had two singles.
Steubenville: Tentatively visits John Marshall Wednesday. Originally, Steubenville was to host Meadowbrook, but that game was canceled. Big Red will return to Vaccaro Field Thursday for a contest against St. Clairsville.
Dover 7, Steubenville 0
Dover 0-6-0 0-0-1 0 — 7 8 0
Steubenville 0-0-0 0-0-0 0 — 0 7 2
DOVER (16-4): Stoldt (WP, 7IP, 0R, 7H, 3BB, 2K, 1HBP) and McGarry. Stoldt T, S, 2RBIs; McGarry 2S; McCune S, RBI; Hamm S, RBI; Dummermuth S; N. Kellicker S.
STEUBENVILLE (12-7): Gresko (LP, 7IP, 7R, 1ER, 8H, 2BB, 5K, 2HBP) and Smith. Sutton D, S; Ferguson 2S; Fleming S; Smith S; Blackburn S.