Baseball: Providence’s bats wakeup to drop Marist
Updated: March 26, 2012 8:30PM
A 7-0 loss Saturday to Minooka was an attention-getter for Providence after the Celtics had won their first three games.
“After Saturday’s game, as a staff we challenged the kids,’’ Providence coach Mark Smith said. “How are we going to respond?’’
A definitive answer came Monday with a 7-0 victory at Marist as left-hander Zak Kutsulis allowed just two hits in six innings while Kenny King stroked a solo homer and two doubles.
“I thought maybe we felt a little too good about ourselves after the first three games,’’ Smith said. “Sometimes losses do a lot of good. Maybe that was a little wakeup call for us. We were much more focused today coming out on the field.’’
King led off the second inning with a home run, and his RBI double in the fourth made it 3-0. Collin Boggetto then singled to drive in King. The Celtics (4-1) added three runs in the seventh, including a two-run base hit by Ryan Koziol.
“I got the barrel on the ball and good things happened,’’ said King, who was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. “I’m just playing relaxed right now at the plate.’’
Kutsulis was 2-for-3 with a triple, but his biggest contribution was on the mound. He maneuvered out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth with a strikeout and an inning-ending groundout. He finished with six strikeouts.
“Certain pitches worked in certain counts,’’ Kutsulis said. “I felt like I threw well because I could throw everything today. My curveball is spotty at times, but today it seemed to be very on.’’
The line drive Kutsulis took off his left heel in the sixth was both good and bad, in his eyes.
“Hitting it off my foot might have saved me a run,’’ he said. “It helped, but it hurt.’’
“He’ll be a little bit sore, but he’ll be ready come Friday,’’ Smith said.
John McKevitt and Bryan Polak had base hits for Marist (4-1).
“We’ve got a little bit of work to do,’’ Marist coach Tom Fabrizio said. “I don’t think we’re that far behind where we should be. I think it was a pretty well-played game. They swung the bat and we didn’t, simple as that.’’
“We beat a darned good pitcher out there,’’ Smith said. “Mike Hearne is as good as it gets. This was a good team win.’’