Baseball: Dylan Rosa rallies Providence past Naperville Central in eight-inning slugfest
By Blake Baumgartner For Sun-Times Media April 8, 2014 9:00PM
Updated: May 10, 2014 6:45AM
Featuring a pair of perennial state baseball powers, all it took was two innings Tuesday to feel like it was going to be one of those games.
Nine combined runs through two innings served as a precursor as both Providence and Naperville Central went on a tear at the plate.
Dylan Rosa’s two-RBI double highlighted a nine-run explosion in the top of the eighth inning as Providence pulled away for a 17-8 victory over the host Redhawks.
Thirteen Celtics batted in the eighth, which also saw Ben Salvador clear the bases with a three-run triple.
“That big inning, that’s a huge break for us,” Rosa said. “It hasn’t gone our way the whole year. The wind’s been coming in, we’re putting balls in play, just not (getting) the runs. But that inning was a big relief.”
Coming off a third-place finish at the WJOL/Don Ladas Tournament, Providence (6-4) survived blowing leads of 4-0 and 8-6 behind the relief effort of Niko Kutsulis.
Taking over for starter Justin Davis with two outs in the second, as the Redhawks were in the midst of putting together a five-run inning to take the lead, Kutsulis worked all the way until the start of the seventh.
“He pitched great. He’s been solid on the mound the whole year,” Rosa said of Kutsulis. “He just held them. I loved it.”
Likewise, Jack Wooldridge and Brad Dubow did their best in relief of Brett Kirk to help as the Redhawks offense found its groove.
Despite having its losing streak grow to four straight, Naperville Central (3-4) got multihit games from six players, led by a three-hit outing from Luke Daley.
Daley’s RBI double in the sixth helped the Redhawks claw back and force an 8-8 tie, while Billy Oliver knocked in three runs, including a two-run single up the middle that gave Central a 5-4 lead.
Redhawks coach Mike Stock, never shying away from a tough schedule to prepare for the rugged DuPage Valley Conference, knows his team has things to work on before beginning the road toward trying to repeat as conference champion.
“We can put some runs up when we score (from) top to bottom,” Stock said. “We had some production. We need to get some guys on when the top of the order rolls over. Then when the first three, four guys get on, someone has got to knock them in. We had some positives. We made some plays.”