Baseball: Providence blanks Lincoln-Way CentralLincoln –Way Central’s catcher Tommy Charles (left) collides with teammate Joe Gianares
during the fourth inning vs Providence Catholic Tuesday morning at Central April, 10, 2012.
| Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 10, 2012 9:12PM
Providence’s David Hearne and Lincoln-Way Central’s Grant Bartell matched each other on the mound Tuesday until the Celtics’ Zak Kutsulis got locked in at the plate.
Kutsulis lofted a two-run homer in the top of the sixth and Providence held on for a wind-swept 2-0 victory over its crosstown rival.
“I saw the ball really well and he put it where I wanted it,’’ Kutsulis said. “I was ahead in the count, so it was my pitch or I wasn’t going to swing at it. I believe it was a fastball.’’
Kenny King had singled with one out and stole second on a missed hit-and-run before Kutsulis’ blast over the right-field fence.
“Zak got a pitch to hit and he hit it,’’ Providence coach Mark Smith said. “The wind was blowing out a little bit. That couldn’t hurt anything, but he got the big hit when we needed it and really picked us up.’’
“That game goes either way today,’’ Central coach Sean Bieterman said. “Credit them, they came up with the big hit there.’’
Providence (11-3) threatened with back-to-back singles and an errant pitch to start the third inning, but Bartell kept the game scoreless by getting a popout, groundout and a strikeout.
“Our bats were a little silent,’’ Smith said. “Credit Bartell. He mixed in a real good changeup, kept us off stride a little bit. Their defense played great. It was a very good baseball game on both sides.’’
Hearne struck out eight and allowed four singles over five innings. Christian Ochoa got a double play in the sixth and fanned the game’s final two batters.
“David Hearne and Cristian Ochoa both threw extremely well,’’ Smith said. “They threw strikes and let our defense make the plays. That’s been our strength so far.’’
“I was throwing a lot of strikes and my defense played great behind me,’’ Hearne said. “I was throwing my fastball over, getting a lot of kids out in front of it. My curveball was really working today.’’
Central (10-4) had the leadoff hitter on base four times but couldn’t capitalize.
“We had opportunities and we just didn’t score,’’ Bieterman said. “That’s the difference. Our outfielders made a couple of nice plays to limit them a little bit — David Rico and Rick Amaya. It was a well-played game, good defense, good pitching.’’