Providence Baseball Drops Nailbiter, Loses 2-1 To Glendale

The Pioneers scored first but yield the winning run in the top of the sixth inning to the Nitros.

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Providence's pitching was solid, yielding four hits and two runs to Glendale. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

There were three runs tallied and six hits garnered combined by host Providence High and Glendale on Friday afternoon in a Poly Tournament baseball game at Schafer Field at Ralph Foy Park.

Five pitchers were used, and it turned out to be a battle of hurlers, but over seven innings, the Nitros had just enough pitching and added timely hitting and eventually secured a 2-1 victory.

With the score knotted at 1-1, and the top of the sixth inning, the Nitros saw junior Dante Vasquez rip a one-out single down the right-field line.

Junior Derek Chilian entered as a pinch-runner and proceeded to swipe second and third base.

With two out, senior Xander Knur hit a tapper in front of home plate and Chilian raced home for a 2-1 lead.

Providence, though young and feisty, fought back as Adrian Contreras walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.

Contreras scooted to second base on a wild pitch by junior Ace Baker and stole third base.

Baker was in trouble, but he struck out Andrew Malong swinging, and Eric Chuchvara lifted a fly to center field for the second out.

When Garett Barnes grounded to second base for the final out, Baker earned the save.

The Pioneers (0-3) scored the first run in the top of the first inning when Contreras was safe on an error.

On a sunny Friday afternoon, Providence lost to Glendale 2-1. (Photo by Rick Assad)

Contreras proceeded to steal second and third base and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Barnes.

Chuchvara had both hits for the Pioneers, and they were an infield hit in the third inning and a single to right center in the fifth inning.

“I liked that we had opportunities to score. We left nine on base,” Providence coach Mando Contreras said. “It’s tough to get those timely hits when you haven’t had those experiences.”

Contreras knows that his club is young, but also willing to learn and get better.

“My young guys are getting them [opportunities] early in the season and that’s a good thing,” he said. “Our returning players just have to keep getting on, and we hope we can start to bring them in.”

Contreras also addressed his two pitcers.

“Good pitching will always keep you around the ball game,” he noted. “Adrian and Cade did a great job keeping us there.”

The Nitros (2-4) evened it at 1-1 in the top of the second as seven batters went to the plate.

Vasquez drew a one-out walk, went to second base on a fielder’s choice by junior Garo Manuelian and third on a sacrifice bunt from Knur.

Vasquez scored on senior Jason Hyde’s hard-hit infield single to shortstop.

“What I liked was that our pitcher, Garo Manuelian, kept us in the game with four strong innings and allowed one run and [junior] Austin Gonzalez came back from the injured list to get two solid innings and get the win,” said Glendale first-year coach Kevin Ortega.

Contreras started on the mound for the Pioneers and toured four effective innings, walking five, striking out five and allowing two hits.

Cade Mackenzie took the loss after working two frames, surrendering two hits with two strikeouts.

Baker was credited with the save after touring one frame while adding a strikeout and a walk.

“Baker showed heart to get the save with the tying run at third base,” Ortega said. “It was a team effort and that is how he should be if we are going to want to compete with the power houses of our division.”

Manuelian was Glendale’s starting pitcher, working four innings, fanning six, walking three, hitting a batter and allowing one hit.

Gonzalez came in and went two innings, yielding one hit, striking out one and hitting one batter and took the win.

Junior Joseph Tapia singled to left center in the second inning for the Nitros but didn’t score.

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