Baseball: Providence bows to St. Laurence
For six innings Monday, Providence pitcher Zak Kutsulis threw quality strikes, effectively changed speeds and kept St. Laurence off the scoreboard.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever been dominated that much on the mound,’’ St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus said. “That kid did a great job for six innings. To come back like that shows a lot for our guys, a lot of heart.’’
The comeback came in the bottom of the seventh when Zach Lewis hit a game-tying two-run double and Dan Cronin’s sacrifice fly scored pinch-runner Tim Bronzell with the winning run for a 3-2 victory, the Vikings’ second in three days over Catholic Blue rival Providence.
“Zach had a great hit to get us those two runs,’’ Cronin said. “I love coming up in that spot. That’s why I love baseball. I love being in that spot, having the pressure.’’
The inning started with base hits by Brad Wood and Mike Kornacker, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Mike Solofra. After an intentional walk to Kevin Smith to load the bases, Lewis followed with his stroke to right field.
“It felt really good,’’ Lewis said. “I was struggling on the day, 0-for-2. I just wanted to do it for the team.’’
Nick Altobella pitched the first six innings for St. Laurence (22-1-1, 8-0). Wood gave up two hits in the seventh before ending the threat by getting a popout and a strikeout.
“We always talk a lot about not quitting, not giving up,’’ Lotus said. “If ever there was a day we could have handed it over, today was kind of that.’’
Kutsulis faced just three batters in five of his first six innings, including 10 groundouts and five strikeouts.
“He cruised through six innings and even in the seventh he threw well,’’ Providence coach Mark Smith said. “They found holes.’’
Dylan Rosa hit a two-run single in the second to give No. 2 Providence (14-6, 6-2) a 2-0 lead, but the Celtics’ scoring then dried up.
“We had so many opportunities,’’ Smith said. “Runner on second one out, second and third one out, first and third one out, and not score. We had so many opportunities to give ourselves a cushion. It was our inability to come up with the big hit.’’