"We won one league game last year, and before that it had been a while, so we wanted to send a message in Game 1," said the fourth-year coach, who also reached last season's win total with the victory Tuesday. "We're no longer the doormat. We're going to win some games."
Against the Seawolves, Knez saw his top four batters in the lineup combine for seven hits and seven runs batted in, highlighted by Thomas Keller's three-for-four day, which included a pair of triples.
Pitcher Sean Holt notched his second win of the season. The sophomore struck out six batters in six innings of work, allowing two earned runs.
"Their pitcher did a good job of mixing up pitches and hitting his spots," said Seawolves Coach Julian Chavez, whose team falls to 1-4 overall. "Their hitters capitalized on the runners on base with some RBIs and balls in the gap."
Providence (5-1, 1-0) loaded the bases in four separate innings — the first coming in the opening inning where the Pioneers scored three runs. Mason Inumerable's infield hit scored Dante Cano for the game's first run.
Cano led off the inning with a single, and it would be the lone ball hit out of the infield in the three-run first. Instead, the Pioneers picked up their second run on a balk from Pacifica Christian's starter Sammy Syrett and played small ball efficiently to score on a RBI-groundout from Harrison Pyros.
"Our main focus was to put the ball in play with two strikes," said Knez, who received a multi-hit games from Cano, Keller and Inumerable, the No. 1, 2, and 4 batters in the lineup, respectively. "We struggled with that in our last game, but we did much better tonight."