Early runs hold up for Prep

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The way the Flintridge Prep baseball team began its game against Providence, it appeared the Rebels were going to make it a one-sided affair.

However, after giving up six runs in the first inning, the Pioneers battled back and threatened to take the lead a few innings later.

But Providence was never able to claw its way completely back, as Prep survived the comeback attempt to notch an 11-7 nonleague win Thursday at the Glendale Sports Complex.

“We have been able to score our share of runs in games this season,” Prep Coach Robert “Buzz” Cook said. “I think we're averaging something like 11 or 12 runs a game.

“The hitting is there. We just need our defense to play well behind our offense.”

Playing with a depleted squad, the Rebels (5-4) suited up just 11 players for the game.

“A couple of the pitchers we used [Thursday] haven't pitched that much for us this season,” said Cook, who had one player on vacation, one on a college trip and one ineligible. “And that kinda showed.”

After it looked as if Providence (5-5) was going to be blown out — falling behind, 6-0 — the Pioneers battled their way back to make a game of it.

However, some errors, mixed with baserunning blunders and nine stranded runners, helped lead to the Pioneers' downfall.

“We have fallen behind in our share of games this season, but the guys are confident that they can battle back,” Providence Coach Nick Rondon said. “But the mistakes we made, on defense and on the bases, really hurt us.”

The Rebels were able to get to Providence starting pitcher Trevor Johnson right away. Prep brought 11 players to the plate in the first inning to account for their half-dozen runs.

Singles by Pete Chodas, Will Peterson and Ian Lee-Chang, a two-run scoring hit by Conor Dubin and two Providence errors played prominently in the inning.

Undaunted, the Pioneers pushed across three runs in the second inning — highlighted by a two-run single from designated hitter Tony Scott.

Trevor Johnson, Jake Johnson and Matt Whitehead also had singles in the inning.

Scott paced Providence, going three for three with two walks and a run scored. Teammate Kyle Gilliam went two for three with two runs scored.

Providence then made it a two-run game with another run in the fourth inning, as Scott scored on a single to left field by Chris Antablian.

After the Rebels upped their cushion with a run in the fourth inning, the Pioneers got to within one, 7-6, with two runs of their own in the fifth.

“You have to give Providence credit,” Cook said. “They came up with some runs when they needed to.”

In the wake of the threat, Prep was able to break the game open in the fifth inning with four runs. Kyle McDonald and John Rodli had doubles in the inning and Peterson (two for four with a run batted in) had a single in the frame.

Lee-Chang went two for four with an RBI.

The Rebels will return to Prep League action next week, traveling to Rio Hondo Prep at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday before hosting the same Kares at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Glendale Sports Complex.

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