SMITHFIELD— The Providence Wolverines continued to roll Saturday, as they pitched and batted well, in a high-scoring game riddled with errors to beat valley rival Smithfield, 12-7.
Following a 12-2 six-inning defeat of Idaho Falls earlier in the day, Providence set the tone early with Tyler Christensen and Nate Weese each hitting singles. Kolby Rowser batted them in off of a double – he was then brought home by Jed Jensen’s double. Smithfield was quick to respond scoring three runs of their own, one coming from a sacrifice fly by Jordan Hansen.
In the top of the second, Providence had Jeff Schiffman on first and Brady Zimmerman on third. Schiffman was cornered while trying to steal second on what looked like to be an easy tag-out when Zimmerman made for home. Smithfield overthrew its catcher, allowing Zimmerman to score and Schiffman to take second. Errors would haunt the Blue Sox the rest of the game.
Providence finished the inning with an RBI by Tyler Christensen and then held Smithfield to just one hit to take a 5-3 lead, a lead the Wolverines wouldn’t lose the rest of the game.
While Providence’s pitching propelled the rest of its game – finishing with a combined seven strikeouts, six hits, and four walks – the Smithfield pitching struggled. The Blue Sox gave up a combined 15 hits, six walks, and 13 stolen bases on wild pitches, two of which were runs.
“When we throw well, play good defense, and hit well, we’re a pretty tough team to beat,” coach Jared Jensen said. “We put all three together tonight.”
Smithfield looked to make a comeback in the Fifth with Cody Godfrey pitching one of his five strikeouts, and holding Providence to one run. Smithfield then scored two runs in the bottom of the inning off an RBI by Kash Christensen and a sacrifice fly from Shawn Olsen.
However, that’s as close as the Blue Sox would get.
“The inning before I had a bad play that I misjudged and was pretty upset about.” Brady Zimmerman said. “I put that aggression into my bat.”
Shortly after Zimmerman rounded the bases after his 3-run homer Kelton Conquist hit his own home run, scoring four total for Providence in the sixth.
“Pretty simple explanation – too many walks, too many errors, not enough hits,” head coach Vic Bingham said. “We had a chance to come back with double-play balls, (double-plays) are not only a pitcher’s best friend, but if you don’t get them, they’ll kill you.”
“That’s what (Wolverine) baseball is,” Zimmerman said. “We can win baseball games no matter what situation we’re in.”
Smithfield will host Tremonton Monday and Providence will be playing another valley rival in Logan.
The Blue Sox also played Idaho Falls Saturday, and lost that game as well, as Smithfield gave up four runs in the seventh inning to blow a two-run lead.