BRACE PARK — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High and Providence baseball programs have had their share of struggles this season.
The Guards began the year without two key players who were reprimanded by the school after a criminal incident.
The Pioneers had trouble just scarping together a team, and field a squad with some players who have never played organized baseball before.
But Bell-Jeff does have its share of solid returners, and that showed when the teams met Tuesday in a nonleague game. The Guards exploded for 10 runs in the first inning and never looked back, earning a 20-1 win against Providence at Brace Park.
The game was called in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Although he knew that Providence might be going through an off-year, Bell-Jeff Coach Hector Perez said he was not about to take the Pioneers lightly.
"This is always a big game for us because it's our rivalry game," said Perez, whose team is 2-2. "I was a little nervous going in because you never know what to expect in a rivalry. A rivalry game seems to being out the best in teams. But the guys really wanted to win this one."