By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — To say that the Jeffersonville baseball team has had a good two days is an understatement of great magnitude.
Wednesday the Class 4A No. 6 Red Devils easily handled Class 3A No. 4 Silver Creek with a 9-2 victory. They followed that up with exclamation points on Thursday. The visiting Red Devils dominated Class 3A No. 5 Providence by a 13-7 score.
The final margin is not indicative of how far the Red Devils (9-4) kept Providence out of reach. The Pioneers (10-2) ran four runs across the plate in the last of the seventh inning to make the score more respectable.
"It was a long night," said Providence coach Scott Hornung. "It was three hours of not very much fun. We just did not do our part. We did not do our job. We have to do better than that."
Jeffersonville opened the game with two runs in the first inning and never looked back. In fact, the Red Devils scored two runs in every inning except for the fourth, when they scored just once.
Jeff coach Derek Ellis was pleased in his team's performance. He especially liked the contributions of the bottom third of his lineup.
"We swung well," said Ellis. "We finally got production out of the bottom of our lineup. We've been looking for that for a while. It took a little pressure off the guys at the top."
Jeff's Conner Christopher, Dylan Robinson and Trey Bottorff — the No. 7, 8, and 9 hitters — combined for seven hits. In addition, Ben Harbeson, a late substitute for Christopher, rapped a single in his only at-bat.
The entire team was hot with the bat. The Red Devils rapped out 19 hits for the game, and every starter had at least one hit.
Seven Jeff players collected at least two hits, and Bottorff and teammate Blayden McMahel each knocked three hits.
By the same token, Providence did little of anything to help its own cause. Shoddy play, both physical and mental, plagued the Pioneers.
"We got off to a good start, but they're probably kicking themselves over there," said Ellis. "They made some mistakes that kept us going. You don't normally get that from Providence."
Hornung could not have agreed more with Ellis’ assessment.
“They (Jeff) hit, but we were also bad," said Hornung. "They were good and we were bad. Their approach was better than ours. The final score is not an indication of the dominance they had on us tonight. They did better than us in every aspect of the game."
Besides the hitting, Christopher put the clamps down on Providence's offense through five innings. Christopher, who ran his record to 4-0, limited the Pioneers to only three hits through their first five at-bats.
"Conner did great," said Ellis. “He's not overpowering. But he's got nice stuff, a lot of movement and he keeps you off balance. He threw a few more pitches than I wanted him to, but he did really well."
For the game, Christopher went 5 2/3 innings, giving up five base hits, three runs (only one earned), struck out four and walked three.
Providence started hitting him better in the sixth inning, and Ellis replaced him with Harbeson, who finished the game.
The bottom of the seventh saw the Pioneers collect five hits in the four-run inning. The last two innings, Providence accumulated eight of its 11 base hits.
Joe Wilkinson absorbed the loss for the Pioneers, dropping his record to 1-1. He surrendered six runs (four earned), while giving up seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Zach Tackett relieved Wilkinson in the third, and he pitched the next 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits. Teammate Nathan Proctor finished the game, giving up two runs.
Providence will return to action on Friday, traveling to Floyd Central for a 7 p.m. game.
Jeffersonville will travel to Jasper on Saturday for a noon game.
JEFF 13, PROVIDENCE 7
Jeff 222 122 2—13 19 3
Providence 020 010 4— 7 11 3
W — Conner Christopher (4-0). L — Joe Wilkinson (1-1). 2B — Christopher (J), Gabe Bierman (J).
Records: Jeff 9-4, Providence 10-2.
Multiple hit players: Jeff — Blayden McMahel 3-5, Trey Bottorff 3-5, Jack Ellis 2-3, Ethan English 2-4, Bierman 2-4, Christopher 2-4, Dylan Robinson 2-4; Providence — Nick Sexton 2-5, Nathan Proctor 2-4, Preston Taylor 2-3.
Christopher pitching line: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 K, 3 BB.
Wilkinson pitching line: 2 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 K, 2 BB.