By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — Providence finally played its first game of the season on Thursday. Games scheduled as early as March 27 were rained out, and the Pioneers were ready to get the season under way.
Providence staged a come-from-behind 7-5 win, scoring six runs in its last three at-bats against visiting Marmion Academy from Aurora, Ill. Class 3A No. 10 Providence is playing as host for three games in the Super Prep Tournament.
Providence coach Scott Hornung and his squad were elated to be in action. The team’s play indicated it was the season opener, and the Pioneers were definitely not in mid-season form.
“Our pregame talk was about (enjoying) being out on the field,” Hornung said. “It looked like a first game with first-game mistakes. It makes it better, though, to come out with a win.”
Marmion starting pitcher Eric Lundell stymied the Pioneers for the first three innings, holding them hitless. Providence did score a run in the first inning, however, thanks to a Marmion error.
“Coming out in the first game and facing a guy who throws 80 percent curve balls is pretty tough because we haven’t even seen a curve ball this year,” said Hornung. “Once he (Lundell) got command of that pitch, obviously we struggled.”
Marmion (4-8) scored twice in the opening inning off of Providence starter Christian Graf. Nick Telarico doubled home Brandon McPherson and Chase Stanke with two outs. McPherson and Stanke had reached base via being hit by a pitch and walking, respectively.
The Cadets put two more runs on the board in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Jake Carlson drove in the first on a sacrifice fly. This was followed by an RBI double by McPherson.
The Pioneers got rolling in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs after two were out. Zach Tackett and Graf each scored on a single by Preston Taylor to cut Providence’s deficit to 4-3. The base hit plated Tackett, and a throwing error on the play allowed Graf to score.
Providence rallied again in the fifth inning, again after two were out. This time the Pioneers scored three runs to take a 6-4 lead. An RBI single by Eli Watson drove one home, and then later Kaden Williams drove home two more with a single.
“We put together a two-out rally and put together some pressure and came through at the end,” said Hornung.
Timmy Borden led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to complete the scoring for Providence, giving it a 7-4 advantage.
Marmion loaded the bases and scored one run on a walk in the seventh inning to get to the final score.
Graf (1-0) threw six innings, giving up four runs on five hits, walking six and striking out six. Tackett relieved Graf in the seventh, but Borden came in to record the final out and get the save.
Lundell (1-3) absorbed the loss for Marmion, going 4 1/3 innings. He gave up five runs (only one earned) on four hits, walking three and striking out seven.
Providence will play at 5:30 p.m. Friday against Morton in the next day of the tournament.
SUPER PREP TOURNAMENT
PROVIDENCE 7, MARMION ACADEMY 5
Marmion 200 200 1—5 7 3
Providence 100 231 x—7 8 2
W — Christian Graf (1-0). L — Eric Lundell (1-3). S — Timmy Borden (1). 2B — Nick Telarico (M), Lucas Sagstetter (M), Brandon McPherson (M), Nathan Proctor (P). HR — Timmy Borden (P).
Records: Providence 1-0, Marmion 4-8.
Multiple hit players: Providence — Zach Tackett 2-3, 2 R.
Graf pitching line: 6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 6 BB.
Lundell pitching line: 4.2 IP, 5 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 3 BB.