STEUBENVILLE -It took Fred Heatherington and his Big Red baseball staff more than three hours to get Vacarro Field ready for Division II Sectional play Saturday.
His team didn't need nearly that long to pass its first tournament test.
Playing well in all phases, Big Red eliminated Meadowbrook 11-0 in Saturday's opener, which ended after four and a half innings. With the victory, Steubenville (17-8) will test Edison at 5 p.m. Monday.
''We played well all the way around,'' Heatherington said. ''We hit the ball and we pitched real well. Our pitchers worked fast, mixed it up and threw strikes. The base running was good even though the field was a little sloppy.''
Justin Corsi started on the bump for the Big Red and earned a victory. He went three innings, allowed two hits and fanned three. Matt Petrella took over in the fourth, surrendering one single and recording two strikeouts. Neither hurler issued a walk.
The defense, particularly shortstop Bryan Pierro, made several nifty plays and failed to commit an error.
''When pitchers can work fast and throw strikes, the defense is on its toes and ready to play,'' Heatherington noted. ''That's what happened and our guys made some plays.''
Big Red plated a single run in the first (Pierro leading off with a double to center and scoring on a John Linn base knock) and added four in the second.
Linn delivered a two-run single and Pierro collected a RBI with his second hit.
Lucas Herrington accounted for Big Red's two runs in the third. His triple to right-center scored Kai McClurg, who drew a walk. A Meadowbrook throwing error allowed Herrington to make it 7-0 Big Red.
Petrella's triple to center got the Red rolling in the fourth. He scored via a Corsi sacrifice fly. Pat Pizzoferrato singled with two outs then moved to second when Anthony Zorne drew a walk. They both scored when Herrington reached on an error. Another Colt fielding miscue, this time on a grounder off the bat of Mason Heatherington, allowed Herrington to touch home with the game's final run.
Evan Adamik started on the hill for Meadowbrook, which finished 2-21, and was tagged with the loss. Austin Clendenning took over in the second.
Pierro and Linn both had two hits to pace Big Red.
''It was a good way to get tournament play started,'' Heatherington said. ''Now we have Edison on Monday and we'll see what happens.''