2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Providence defeats Eastside

Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Dominant pitching and timely hitting helped Providence to its second IHSAA baseball state championship.

The Pioneers (22-6) earned a 4-0 win against Eastside (23-6) in Class 2A state title game Monday, June 21 at Victory Field.

The Aaron Willard-coached Blazers were making their first State Finals appearance.

Senior right-hander Ray Reisinger (9-3) tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and no walks. He finished with 93 pitches (69 for strikeouts).

“I just had pretty good command,” said Reisinger. “I was spotting the outside corner."

“At the plate, I was seeing the ball pretty well.”

Reisinger pushed his school-record single-season strikeout total to 108. He also collected his 15th double — also a school mark.

“He throws strike after strike and he’s a bulldog out there,” said Providence coach Scott Hutchins of Reisinger. “After the first game of the (Evansville Mater Dei) Regional, I said he had the best pitching performance in school history. He struck out 16.

“He was better tonight. He’s been great all through the postseason.”

Junior right-hander Owen Willard (9-1) went the distance on the mound for Eastside. He whiffed eight, walked four and give up seven hits. He threw 65 strikes in 112 pitches.

“In (batting practice) this week we worked really hard,” said Hutchins. “We threw from off the side of the mound behind our hitters so they would stay on it because we knew (Willard) liked to work the outer half of the plate.”

Reisinger faced four batters in the top of the seventh inning and got a foul pop-up from the first hitter.

After an error, he struck out the next two to nail down the game and the championship.

The Pioneers pushed its lead to 4-0 with two runs in the sixth.

Senior David Newbanks rapped a first-pitch triple to left-center.

On the next pitch, junior Max Beatty belted a double to left that drove in Newbanks.

Providence was out trying to squeeze in another run, which eventually did score on a passed ball. Sophomore Grant Borden (who was hit by a pitch to reach base) crossed the plate.

The Blazers left a runner at third base in the sixth.

With two outs, senior Wade Miller reached on a three-base error right before Reisinger coaxed an inning-ending fly-out.

Senior Eli Watson opened the Pioneer fifth with a triple to left and was stranded when Willard fanned two and got an rally-ending infield pop-up.

Eastside’s second hit of the night came on a two-out slow roller by junior Jack Buchanan in the fifth. Reisinger got the next batter on a foul pop for the third out.

Providence stranded runners at second and third base in a score-free fourth inning.

Blazers hurler Willard collected three strikeouts with a walk and hit batsmen during the inning.

Eastside collected their first hit off Reisinger with two outs in the fourth. Senior Dylan Hertig singled to left field before and inning-ending groundout.

The Pioneers posted a two-out run in the third inning and took a 2-0 lead.

Reisinger doubled to right-center and freshman courtesy runner Jack Beyl scored on sophomore Casey Kaelin’s double down the left field line.

Reisinger fanned all three Blazer batters in the third.

Providence stranded a runner at second base in a scoreless second.

Newbanks walked, moved to second on a groundout but the next two flies were caught by Eastside senior right fielder Caleb Vanover, including a sliding grab.

Reisinger set the Blazers down in order in the second with two strikeouts and groundout.
The Pioneers scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first.

Kaelin belted a 2-2 pitch for an RBI double down the left field line, plating Watson (who drew a one-out walk) with two outs.

Reisinger retired Eastside 1-2-3 in the top of the first with a groundout, strikeout and fly-out.
The L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award was presented to Eastside senior Liam Franz.

More State Championship Coverage