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Providence baseball stays unbeaten with home victory

Baseball: Pioneers, led by Holt's seven RBI, have started the season 3-0 following 13-1 win against Valley Torah.

March 11, 2014|By Emin Avakian, special to the Leader
(Tim Berger Staff…)

BURBANK — For a No. 3 hitter, Providence's Sean Holt couldn't have asked for more ideal situations than the four times he walked to the batter's box on Tuesday evening.

Facing seemingly overwhelmed pitchers from Valley Torah in a nonleague game, the slugger capitalized on the eight runners on base in his four at-bats — including seven in scoring position — with three hits and seven runs driven in to help the Pioneers notch a 13-1 victory at Schafer Field in Ralph Foy Park.

PHOTOS: Providence vs. Valley Torah nonleague baseball

Holt's three-hit performance highlighted a day in which five starters registered a hit and seven scored runs in the game that was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The win is the third straight for Providence to start the season.

"We're expecting big things from Sean this year, a high RBI total," said fourth-year Pioneers Coach Steven Knez, who also reiterated that he expects this year's squad to match last season's win total of five after the first five games of this season. "With Dante [Cano] and Thomas [Keller] in front of him, there should be no problems getting to 40 or 50."

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As a team, Providence sprayed eight hits, but it was 10 walks issued by Valley Torah's pitching that proved to be the ultimate catalyst in the 13 runs scored by the Pioneers, as they were asked to show poise on the base pads and did, most notably from Jonathan Max, who stole three bases.

Providence had no problems from Keller, its starting pitcher, who didn't allow a hit and struck out 11 batters in five innings of work, as he picked up his second win of the season.

"I just wanted to keep the ball down and get ahead of their hitters," said Keller, who didn't allow an earned run and scored three runs himself.

"He was looking good and throwing strikes," Knez said of his starter. "That's where the mercy rule bites us. There's no reason he couldn't throw two more [and complete a no-hitter].

Keller and Cano scored the first two runs of the game on a double off the bat of Holt in the first inning. Later in the inning, Harrison Pyros' sacrifice fly scored Holt, the first of three runs for the sophomore.

Providence added another three runs in the second, sparked again by Holt, whose two-run single scored Keller and Ryan Chow, both of whom drew walks.

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