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Baseball: Providence thumps Lincoln-Way Est

Providence's Jake Godfrey pitches against Lincoln-Way East April 11 2014.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Providence's Jake Godfrey pitches against Lincoln-Way East, April 11, 2014.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 12, 2014 5:27PM



The weather is heating up, and so are Providence’s bats.

For the third consecutive game, the Celtics put up double digits up on the scoreboard. Friday, the victim was Lincoln-Way East.

Providence pounded out 18 hits and recorded a 19-9 win over host East in six innings. The Celtics have won five consecutive games.

“I think the sun is starting to shine on us,” Providence coach Mark Smith said. “We’ve been more aggressive the last three games.”

The Celtics (8-4) have totaled 50 runs in wins over Naperville Central, 17-8, final, Lincoln-Way Central, 14-5, and now Lincoln-Way East.

Nine different Celtics recorded hits Friday, but no one flexed the power of Phil Kunsa. The Middle Tennessee State recruit was 3-for-4 with five RBI, including two two-run home runs. Kunsa has five homers this season, all of them in the past week.

“Our energy and tempo have been better,” said Kunsa of the Celtics’ improved play. “We’re starting to come together as a team.”

Ben Salvador (3-for-5, RBI), Mike Madej (2-for-4), Dylan Rosa (2-for-4, 5 RBI), Niko Kutsulis (2-for-4) and Richard Yusa (3-for-3, 2 RBI) all had multihit games for the Celtics.

“Maybe something is starting to click,” Smith said. “Our first nine games we weren’t so good. We were inconsistent.”

That’s a good way to describe Providence pitcher Jake Godfrey’s performance. The LSU recruit allowed just two hits over four innings. However, the righty walked seven and struck out five. The Celtics defense didn’t do him any favors, committing five errors, which led to all eight runs Godfrey allowed being unearned.

To the Griffins’ credit, they were aggressive in their approach at the plate.

“You try to make some contact against a pitcher like that,” said East leadoff hitter Evan Sandmann, who reached base three times. “You have to wait for a good pitch to hit. We did keep on fighting.”

The Griffins fell behind 3-0, only to rally to grab a 4-3 lead after one inning. After Providence opened a 10-4 lead, East rallied for four runs in the fourth, highlighted by Kenichi Haynie’s two-run single from, to close to within 10-8.

“Lincoln-Way East came out aggressive,” Smith said. “Fortunately, we put pressure on them. When they scored, we answered them.”



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