4A Round 3: Northwest Guilford at Providence

Sam Fligel
Prep Baseball Report of NC

Northwest Guilford- 3  Providence- 13


Providence’s intense offensive pressure paired with Eli Jerzembeck’s strong outing on the mound propelled them over Northwest Guilford on Saturday night. The Panthers ended this one in the sixth after a wild pitch plated Anthony Watson to push the lead to ten. Eli Jerzembeck was exceptional for Providence as he threw a six inning complete game with four strikeouts, three earned runs, and five hits allowed. 

Much like the prior two games in the state playoffs, the Panthers were faced early with danger. Bristol Carter led off the game by flying down the line and beating out a ground ball. Carter, a 2023 ECU commit, then stole second. Jerzembeck got a popup to get the first out of the inning. A passed ball found Carter standing on third with Sylas Boris up at the plate. Boris grounded a ball right back to Jerzembeck which he fielded cleanly. He looked Carter back to third before throwing to first for the out. However, even with Jerzembeck checking on him Carter showed off his blazing speed once again and raced home on the throw to first to take an early 1-0 lead for the Vikings. Josh Foulks put a good swing on the ball, but it was caught by Jeremy Beamon in center to end the inning.

Providence showed that they were unfazed by the early damage done by Northwest Guilford. After an out, Jake Knepp was hit by a pitch that put him on first. Jeremy Beamon continued to dominate in the state playoffs as he demolished a ball to deep left center for a two run home run which gave the Panthers the lead. Beamon has been a true star for the Panthers in the playoffs helping out tremendously on the mound and at the plate. Owen Simmons showed some toughness as he bounced back from the home run by getting two outs to put a stop to the Panthers first inning.

With a packed crowd on site, Jerzembeck rode the energy his offense provided to put the Vikings down quickly in the top of the second. He was helped out by a tremendous play by Sam Dansky at short where the ball was deflected off of Knepp at third and then caught by Dansky on the run who delivered a strike to first to record the out. Simmons answered the clean inning by Jerzembeck by putting down the Panthers in order in the bottom half of the inning.

Jerzembeck picked up his first strikeout on the day to begin the third and then produced a flyout to get the second out of the inning. Despite the two quick outs, Jerzembeck gave up a two out walk to Bristol Carter. Carter moved up to second on a wild pitch and once again Northwest Guilford was threatening. However, the inning ended as Jerzembeck got a popup to end the inning. 

In the bottom half of the inning, David Garfinkle began a huge inning for Providence as he worked a walk with one out. Garfinkle moved into scoring position as he stole second base. Jake Knepp connected on a ball sending it right back up the middle for a single which moved Garfinkle to third. Knepp took second to put both runners in scoring position. Jeremy Beamon was then intentionally walked to load the bases after the count got to 2-1. Luke Wolff walked which brought home Garfinkle. In a daring bases loaded squeeze, Tommy Walker was awarded first base and Knepp scored after catcher’s interference was called in the midst of everything. Right after this, Beamon stole home when the ball was dropped on the tag at the plate. Collin McDougall then walked to load the bases once again. Jack Prosser came through as he lined a ball to left field for a sac fly RBI. Sam Dansky then recorded a single to right field with two outs to load the bases for the third time in the inning. However, the Panthers could not capitalize any further and Northwest Guilford finally got a groundout to end the inning. When the dust settled, Providence had a controlling six to one lead.

Jerzembeck showed he was locked in when he came out for the fourth. He displayed a wipeout slider that helped him record two strikeouts to begin the inning. He then got a ground out to set the Vikings down in order. David Garfinkle led the charge in the bottom half of the inning once again. He walked and then stole second. Jake Knepp moved him to third on a productive ground out to second. Jeremy Beamon stayed hot at the dish, dropping in a ball to center field which scored Garfinkle. Beamon slid past the second base bag on the play and was tagged out. Northwest Guilford fans breathed a sigh of relief when Luke Wolff crushed a ball to deep left field that was tracked down on the run, keeping the Panthers lead to six.

Carson Shelton tried to start the comeback effort for the Vikings to begin the fifth when he lined a ball right back up the middle. Jerzembeck was unbothered and got three quick outs following the single. Tommy Walker added to the Providence offensive show by leading off with a single up the middle in the bottom half of the inning. Anthony Watston came on to run for Tommy Walker. A balk moved Watson to second with no outs and Collin McDougall moved Watson to third on a ground ball to second. Jack Prosser then dropped down a beautiful bunt on a squeeze to plate Watson. Prosser also put his speed on display, reaching first safely on the play and then stealing second shortly after. Sam Dansky delivered another strong hit up the middle, his second of the day, which scored Prosser from second. Catcher Blaize Johnson ran up the line to cut the ball off from center and threw a strike to get Dansky at second. The Panther lead moved to eight following the Dansky RBI. A groundout then ended the damage that was done in the bottom of the fifth.

Northwest Guilford showed they were not going to go down without a fight in the top of the sixth. Bristol Carter reached base for the third time as he placed a ball in between everyone in right center. Jackson Godfrey turned on a ball sending it to right field for a single. Carter showed off his speed again, moving up to third on the play. Sylas Boris continued on the early hits to begin the inning as he lined a ball to left field that was misplayed. Carter scored, Godfrey moved up to third, and Boris was on second when the play ended. Jerzembeck got a ground ball to get the first out of the inning and then a strikeout for the second out. A wild pitch ended up scoring Godfrey, reducing the lead to six. Carson Shelton walked, but Jacob Russak made the elusive last out of the inning as he caught a line drive at second base.

David Garfinkle displayed why he is such a good lead off hitter for the Panthers when he reached base yet again to start the bottom half of the sixth. He stole second once more. Jake Knepp recorded another single to move Garfinkle to third. Knepp stole second to put even more pressure on the Vikings. On an interesting play, David Garfinkle was called out because of interference on a popup to third base that was not caught. On the play, Jeremy Beamon reached first safely. Luke Wolff showed another strong swing as he singled to load the bases. Anthony Watson was hitting when another balk occurred. Knepp scored on the play and Cam Hull, who was running for Wolff, moved to second. Watson walked to load the bases for the second time in the inning. A strikeout was then picked up by Owen Smith to get the second out for the Vikings. Jack Prosser and Sam Dansky both walked and after the pair of walks the score was twelve to three. Anthony Watson scored the winning run as he raced in on a wild pitch to make the lead ten which ended the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Providence took advantage of a young Northwest Guilford team and dominated this game. Jeremy Beamon’s early home run set the tone for the game and the Panthers were relentless in their effort.They put tremendous pressure on the Vikings and with Eli Jerzembeck flashing strong stuff on the mound they showed why they are looking like a dangerous matchup. They will play Ronald Reagan at home on Tuesday with a trip to the state championship on the line.