No. 5 Providence Routs St. Ignatius 11-1

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

NEW LENOX, IL – No. 5 Providence Catholic rode senior righthander Justin Hunniford and multiple big innings to take down St. Ignatius 11-1 in six innings on Thursday at Tom Dedin Field in a Chicago Catholic League crossover.

Junior shortstop and leadoff man Jackson Stulas got the Celtics going early, homering on the first pitch of the bottom of the first to deep left center field off of St. Ignatius starter Anthony Rosalez. Providence went on to score two more runs in the inning thanks to a two-run single over the shortstop’s head by junior designated hitter Matt Waznis, taking an early 3-0 advantage.

St. Ignatius touched up Hunniford for a run in the third, on an RBI-safety squeeze by senior catcher Andy Scanlon scoring junior centerfielder Dylan Gilbert, who doubled to right field. Gilbert was a bright spot for the Wolfpack, going 2-for-3 on the day and impressing with two cannon throws from center field, one doubling off a Providence runner at first base for a double play in the third. Junior third baseman Scott Kappas also went 2-for-2 with two singles for St. Ignatius.

Providence. Leading 4-1 entering the fifth, put the game away with a five run inning. Junior three-hole hitter Jackson Dvorak (1-for-1, two walks, HBP) led off the inning with a triple to right field, and scored on junior outfielder Brendan O”Hara’s line drive single up the middle. Junior outfielder Shawn Harper entered the game in the fourth, and provided a two-run RBI single to right to give the Celtics a 9-1 advantage. Harper finished 2-for-2 on the day with two singles, and four RBI; the final two capped the scoring in the bottom of the sixth in walk off fashion, giving the Celtics an 11-1 win.

Celtics coach Mark Smith said, “Shawn came off the bench and took advantage of an opportunity. We made a change and he had two big hits.”

Hunniford impressed all day with his three-pitch mix, featuring an above average changeup. The senior right-hander who led the Celtics to a state championship on the gridiron at quarterback this fall threw all six innings, allowing one run on four hits, with four strikeouts and no walks. He improves to 3-0 on the season with a 1.40 ERA.

Smith added, “Justin has done it all year. He’s a strike thrower with good command. His change had life to it, and he pounded the zone. That’s the second game in a row we’ve had no walks, and we had some great defense with two great plays in the first inning by Jackson Stulas and Zach Pych. We don’t have the power arms we’ve had in the past, but we preach if you throw it over with three pitches you have a chance for success.”

Waznis finished 2-for-3 with two singles, junior third baseman Zach Pych was 2-for-2 with two singles, a walk, a HBP, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Dvorak, O’Hara, Waznis, Pych, and junior catcher Jim Jeffries (1-for-4) all scored two runs for the Celtics. Providence was aggressive on the basepaths as well, stealing five bases.

Providence improves to 12-2 on the year and goes on the road Saturday to Fenwick at 2 pm in another Catholic League crossover. St. Ignatius drops to 5-6 on the year and takes on Loyola on Saturday in a 3 pm double header.

Scouting notes will be from this contest will be available shortly in the Illinois Scout Blog.

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