Carrying the momentum from a big win over Mid-Southern Conference rival Charlestown on Monday, the Silver Creek baseball team was at it again on Tuesday night.
Another day, another rival defeated.
The Dragons, who kept pace with Brownstown and stayed unbeaten in the MSC by toppling Charlestown 9-1 Monday, scored four times in their first at-bat and let the pitching and defense do the rest in a 4-0 win over visiting Providence.
Silver Creek (12-3) — error-free in the field against the Pirates as well — staved off any chance of a Pioneer rally by standing strong in support of pitchers Logan Murphy and Shae Durham, who combined for a four-hit shut-out.
“We expect them to make the routine plays,” Silver Creek coach Joe Decker said. “We start three seniors [in the infield], so they know what to expect.”
They also know how crucial it is to get the lead early.
Silver Creek jumped on Providence starter Ryan Mueller from the first batter, as Cody Razer singled to open the rally. After Brahm Whittinghill drew a walk, Brayden Ware delivered an RBI single to centerfield to score Razer, who stole both second and third base. Durham, who had two RBI in Monday’s win, then delivered the big blow, a perfectly-placed single between second and third that plated two more runs and left Ware on third with none out. Ware then scored on a throwing error before Mueller recovered and retired the next three hitters in order.
Mueller, a junior, settled down and went on to have a solid night. He’d give up just three hits the rest of the way.
“He kept his pitches down and was really doing a good job,” Providence coach Scott Hornung said. “That’s the second outing in a row where he’s kind of gotten roughed up a little bit, but other than that he’s just doing a nice job pitching.”
In a four-run hole, Providence tried to fight back, finally chasing Murphy in the top of the fifth after singles from Jacob Quinkert and Juston Betz. Murphy also hit Ben Shahroudi to load the bases with two outs.
That brought out Durham to face Tre Watson, who had collected a double in the fourth inning. This time, the Providence third baseman flew out to centerfield to end the threat and the Pioneers would not manage another baserunner.
“Our offense is what is we need to improve on to move from being a good team to in the range of being a great one,” Hornung said. “We think that would put us in a top-notch place for the Class 2A tournament. We just need to stick to the plan and try and get better.”
Silver Creek, which scored in each of the first five innings against Charlestown on Monday, never put up much of a threat after its opening outburst, giving Decker a bit of a downside to what has been a tremendous week for his program, which is currently ranked No. 6 in Class 3A.
“We weren’t happy to have a letdown after that [the first inning],” Decker said. “We had a few kids lose their focus in the batter’s box and try to get greedy, and that’s something that we talk a lot about. Both teams [we beat] are really good, so we feel pretty good about that. We learned that it helps if you jump on them early.”
Razer had two hits for the Dragons, who will try to maintain their MSC hot streak against North Harrison at home on Thursday. The Cougars went into extra innings with Class 4A No. 6 New Albany on Tuesday.
Providence hosts Madison today.
SILVER CREEK 4, PROVIDENCE 0
Providence 000 000 0—0 4 1
Silver Creek 400 000 x—4 6 0
WP — Murphy. LP — Mueller. 2B — Razer (SC), Watson (P).
Records — Silver Creek 12-3, Providence 9-6.