The Providence High School baseball team was hoping to use Friday’s game against Pulaski Southwestern as a measuring stick. If its performance said anything, it’s that the Pioneers can compete with the best in the region.
Providence used a five-run outburst in the fifth inning to knock off formerly unbeaten Pulaski Southwestern 7-6 Friday afternoon in the Super Preps baseball classic at Ballard High School. Tre Watson’s RBI double gave the Pioneers a 5-4 lead and one they wouldn’t relinquish.
“It’s good to know we can play at this level,” said Providence coach Scott Hornung. “We wanted to come over here and see how we stacked up. One game doesn’t necessarily tell you that but you get a barometer of what’s going on.”
The Pioneers (5-0) trailed 4-2 before erupting for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as five straight batters reached base.
With one out, Juston Betz ripped a sharp single to left field. Jake Lewis then reached on a fielder’s choice as Betz beat out the throw to second base.
Betz, a point guard on Providence’s regional championship basketball team, then stole third base and scored when the throw to third went into left field.
Tim Borden, a sophomore who has committed to the University of Louisville, then came up to the plate and singled to left field as Lewis scored to tie the game at 4-4.
After Borden reached second base on a wild pitch, Watson hit a double past third base into the left-field corner, scoring Borden. Providence led 5-4.
The next Providence batter, Parker Graf, reached on another throwing error by Southwestern third baseman Jonathan Gallagher.
With Joe Wilkinson up, the miscues kept piling up for the Warriors (9-1). On ball four to Wilkinson, a wild pitch from pitcher Brandon Pruitt allowed Watson to score from third base.
Hornung turned to his bench and Blake Wurm came in to run for Wilkinson. Wurm attempted a steal to second, stopped halfway and Graf raced home for Providence’s seventh run.
“That was an intentional play,” Hornung said. “A kid off the bench (Wurm) did what he was supposed to do,” Hornung said. “He executed. Graf, who was at third, he also executed the play.
“We did some nice little things that we’ve worked on. It’s nice that it translated into the game.”
In the top of the sixth, Pioneers pitcher Borden allowed a couple of runs as Trevor Howard drove a two-out single to left field, scoring pinch-runner Noah Helton and Hunter Cromer.
Southwestern’s Lucas Turpin follow that up with a single but Borden struck out Pruitt to end the game as it surpassed the one hour, 50-minute time limit.
“It was a fun high school game to be in,” Horning said.
Hornung complimented his starter Jake Lewis (1-0), who allowed four runs in five innings against Kentucky’s ninth-ranked team.
“He did a tremendous job,” Hornung said. “That’s a tough lineup to get through. There are no easy outs in their lineup. It’s a just a solid, well-coached team.”
The Pioneers stayed close early by scratching across a couple of runs early in the game.
In the first inning, Betz led off with a single and went to second as the ball rolled past the left fielder. Betz went to third on a sacrifice from Lewis and scored on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, Hornung called for a safety squeeze as Jay Lorenz placed down the bunch and Graf scored from third base.
“I liked the team that I saw. Everyone had a part in this game,” Hornung said.