By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — A rarity occurred at Providence on Thursday night.
The Class 3A No. 9 Pioneers jumped out to an early lead. For much of this season, Providence has started slowly offensively and come from behind.
Against Class 2A No. 7 Henryville, though, the Pioneers scored twice in the first inning. They then added three runs more in the bottom of the second. The lead was more than enough, as Providence ran its record to 8-1 in downing Henryville, 11-2.
The final score indicates a blowout. But the game was close and within striking distance for Henryville until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Pioneers pushed across five runs in that frame to stretch a 6-2 lead to the final 11-2 margin.
"It's frustrating for me," said Henryville coach Jeff Schroeder, whose Hornets fell to 7-2. "If you lose, you lose, but this was not an 11-2 game. We made some mistakes, and we opened the door for them and it cost us some runs."
Providence plated two in the first inning. Consecutive singles by Timmy Borden and Eli Watson drove in the runs.
Those runs staked Pioneer freshman pitcher Ray Reisinger to a quick lead in his first varsity start. Reisinger took advantage of his team's early offense. He threw five innings, surrendering one run, which was unearned, scattering five singles, striking out five and not issuing any walks.
"I am happy that Ray got his first varsity win," said Providence coach Scott Hornung. "He pitched better today than he did (last week) in Indianapolis. He has struggled keeping the ball down, but he'll get that as he progresses."
Providence tacked three more runs on the board in the second inning to extend the lead to 5-1. A one-out single by Zach Tackett got the rally going. Tackett then stole second base. Preston Taylor followed with an RBI single to make the score 3-0.
Center fielder Kaden Williams then hit a double to right-center field. Taylor scored on that play as some indecision by the Henryville defense allowed him to proceed home, making it 4-0.
A short while later, Adam Uhl lifted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Williams. The Pioneers had things going, leading by a 5-0 score.
"We hit the ball well," said Hornung. "We had good, solid hits, we got RBIs from people and we hit line drives.
For the game, the Pioneers rapped out 11 base hits, nine of which were singles.
Henryville started to come back in the fourth inning, scoring an unearned run.
Luke Stock was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. That was followed by a single to center field by Kade Badger. However, Williams did not field the ball cleanly, allowing Stock to score.
Providence tacked another run on in the fifth inning. Borden reached base on an error, stole second and he then scored on a single by Watson, making the score 6-1.
Each team scored in the sixth inning. Providence's Joe Wilkinson came in relief, finishing Reisinger's day. Stock reached base on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Hines. Henryville trailed 6-2.
The Pioneers blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth, scoring five times. Henryville hurt itself in the inning, not completing a double play early and then making an error. The Hornets could have escaped without surrendering a run had they made the plays.
Providence took advantage in a big way. An RBI single by Taylor drove home the first run. The big blast came from Borden, who unloaded a three-run homer for the final three runs of the day, making the score 11-2. Providence sent 10 men to the plate in its half of the sixth.
"I'm always looking to be better. I'm satisfied that we're 8-1, but we talked about having a little more urgency with panic. Push yourself a little better, be better driven,” said Hornung. “We kicked it around a little bit, and we're striking out too much. Those are the things we want to work on.”
Stock was the pitcher of record for Henryville, going five innings. His performance was not a bad one, although he had mixed numbers. The right-hander struck out 10 batters and gave up nine base hits. Stock gave up six runs, five of which were earned.
"Luke gave us a pretty good effort today, I think," said Schroeder. "When you strike out 10 of those guys, it's pretty good."
Providence will return to the diamond at 6 Friday night at home against Avon. Henryville will play again at 5 p.m. next Monday at New Washington.
PROVIDENCE 11, HENRYVILLE 2
Henryville 000 101 0— 2 5 2
Providence 230 015 x—11 11 4
W — Ray Reisinger (1-0). L — Luke Stock. 2B — Kaden Williams (P). HR — Timmy Borden (P).
Records: Providence 8-1, Henryville 7-2.
Multiple hit players: Henryville — Kade Badger 2-2; Providence — Williams 2-3, 2B, 3 R; Borden 2-4, HR, 4 RBIs, 3 R; Eli Watson 2-4, 2 RBIs; Preston Taylor 2-3, RBI, 2 R.
Reisinger pitching line: 5 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB.
Stock pitching line: 5 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 10 K, 0 BB.