Baseball: Brother Rice rallies, adds to Providence’s struggles
Brian Musielak provided a lesson in not allowing failure in one aspect of the game affect anything else.
Or, another way to look at Brother Rice’s 8-7 come-from-behind Catholic Blue victory Wednesday at Providence is the black cloud hanging over the Celtics just got even thicker.
Musielak started on the mound for the Crusaders (15-8, 8-4) and did not have it. He allowed five first-inning runs and departed in the second inning in a 6-0 hole. But he remained in the lineup and came up huge with three hits, a walk and three RBI.
Providence (9-13, 3-9), which lost for the 12th time in 14 games, still led 6-0 in the top of the fifth when Brother Rice broke through for three runs, the last two on Musielak’s two-out single.
“When they got it to 6-3, you can almost see the guys thinking, ‘Here we go again,’ ” Providence coach Mark Smith said. “This is as bad as it gets.”
Dylan Rosa, who had been throwing a shutout, left in the fifth with two runners on and one out, throwing 91 pitches. Yianni Pavlopoulos relieved and was solved early and often.
The Crusaders scored four more times in the sixth, the go-ahead run compliments of Musielak’s two-out single off Kyle Crawford, to lead 7-6. They added an insurance run in the seventh on Luke Liebforth’s two-out single.
Providence pushed one across in the bottom of the seventh, but the game ended with the tying run on third base.
“That’s our seventh one-run loss, and every one we had the tying run in scoring position in the seventh inning,” Smith said. “The boys have not quit fighting.”
“They’re a great club,” Musielak said of the Celtics. “But when a team is struggling, it can spiral out of control quickly. That’s what I think has happened to them.”
“A big reason we won is because our relievers (Mike Enriquez and Mike Gianakos) came in and shut them down,” Brother Rice coach John McCarthy said. “I know they’re struggling, but it was a great team win for us. It was good to see us compete like that. The kids fought their way back in it.”
Providence lost to the Crusaders 2-1 on Monday, wasting Jake Godfrey’s superb pitching performance, and dropped a 14-9 decision Tuesday to Marian Catholic.
“This one is as bad as it gets,” Smith said. “We came out and looked good offensively for two innings after having a good offensive game (again Marian). All of a sudden our bats went silent and our pitching got bad. We brought in our No. 2 because we had to win this one, but Yianni just didn’t have it.”
“Whatever move we’ve made this year seems to have backfired. It could be a move we’ve made 1,000 times. That’s the way it’s going.”
Nick Sanders had four of Providence’s nine hits. Phil Kunsa doubled home a run and Rosa singled in two.
Liebforth had three hits and two RBI for Brother Rice. Kevin Biondic’s two hits included a two-run single.