Baseball: Providence edges Joliet Catholic for third place
Updated: March 31, 2012 10:26PM
Providence slipping past Joliet Catholic 4-3 is becoming familiar.
That was the score of the 2011 WJOL Classic championship game and the score of this year’s third-place game.
The No. 5 Celtics (6-2) jumped to a 4-0 lead thanks largely to Kenny King’s continued hot hitting and three Hilltoppers errors. No. 3 Joliet Catholic (4-2) finally solved Providence junior right-hander Yianni Pavlopoulos with four straight hits, good for three runs, in the top of the fifth.
But Pavlopoulos prevented further damage and Cristian Ochoa saved it with two shutout innings.
“Cristian has stepped up and done the job,” Providence coach Mark Smith said. “It was a good win after a disappointing loss earlier today. We’re struggling offensively, but I’m pleased that our approaches at the plate were better.”
King doubled and singled and scored twice. Providence’s other hit was Nick Sanders’ RBI double in the first. He was a late replacement for Zak Kutsulis, who had an arm issue after pitching the semifinal.
The Celtics managed three hits off Hilltoppers starter Cal Placher (0-1), after which freshman Nick Delasandro pitched two perfect innings in relief, striking out three.
“It’s a matter of cleaning up some stuff for us,” Joliet Catholic coach Jared Voss said. “It’s a good tournament with good competition, and we never gave up.”
Adam Collins singled, Andrew Gudac doubled, Nate Searing and Zach Melone singled in runs and Ryan Peter’s groundout scored another in the Hilltoppers’ three-run fifth.