The host Pioneers advanced to the championship game of Class 2A Providence Sectional action Saturday morning with a 10-5 win over Eastern. City rival Clarksville, meanwhile, fell to Paoli 7-1 in the other semifinal game.
Providence and Paoli will meet for the sectional championship at 6 p.m. Monday.
PROVIDENCE 10, EASTERN 5
The Pioneers scored in five of their six at-bats in disposing of Eastern. For all but the last inning for Eastern, the game appeared to be a rout at the hands of Providence. The Pioneers led 10-1 after five innings, but a sloppy seventh inning in the field allowed Eastern to plate four runs to get to the final score.
Providence starter Austin Dickey battled early to find his rhythm and the plate, but he settled down and allowed just three hits over six innings, walking two and striking out seven.
Dickey got all the offensive help he needed from his teammates, who drummed out 10 base hits while scoring in each of the first five innings. Eight players collected at least one base hit, with Ben Shahroudi and Bret Aria getting two apiece.
The Pioneers also rapped four extra base hits — all doubles — at the hands of Shahroudi, Aria, Nick Richard and Juston Betz.
Shahroudi scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. After he singled to lead off the innning, he moved to second on a grounder by Jake Lewis, stole third then scored on a passed ball.
The Pioneers made it 2-0 in the second when Richard led off with a double, went to third on a throwing error then scored on a single by Aria.
Things went to pieces defensively in the top of the seventh for Providence. Spencer Pearson relieved Dickey on the mound, and the Musketeers’ first four batters reached base, thanks in large part to three Providence errors. Ryan Mueller replaced Spencer later in the inning and induced Eastern’s Tyler Churchman to hit into a game-ending double play.
The Pioneer defense had a tough day, committing six errors.