Providence High gave up nine runs in the first two innings of Tuesday’s 10-5 loss to West Forsyth in the first game of the N.C. 4A Western Regional baseball championship series.
But Panthers coach Danny Hignight was able to find some positives in the game as his team prepares to travel to West Forsyth (26-5) for Game 2 of the best-of-3 series Wednesday.
His team outscored the Titans 5-1 over the final five innings and Addison Jones only gave up one run and four hits in six innings of relief.
West Forsyth scored three runs in the first inning and six runs in the second, when 10 batters came to the plate.
The Panthers (27-5), ranked No. 21 in the most recent MaxPreps national rankings, committed an error in each of the innings.
Providence starting pitcher Josh Hiatt never seemed comfortable on the mound, walking two batters and throwing a pick-off throw to second into center field before coming out of the game with no outs in the second inning.
The Titans also were hitting the ball hard early. Alex Vanderstok hit an RBI single in each of the first two innings and Zach French had a two-run single in each of the first two innings.
Jones came into the game in relief for the Panthers in the second inning and retired the first 10 batters he faced.
The Providence offense got going late, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Andrew Moritz had an RBI single that scored Tucker Jones and Trevor Rhyne followed that three batters later with a two-run single.
West Forsyth answered immediately in the top of the sixth when Vanderstok hit a leadoff solo home run to give the Titans a 10-3 lead.
Providence added two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tommy Dejuneas hit an RBI double and later scored on a passed ball.
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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