High School Sports

In baseball showdown of reigning state champs, Providence defeats Marvin Ridge 2-0

Providence’s Tucker Jones, right, scores a run as Marvin Ridge pitcher Zach Zdimal looks to cover home plate after a wild pitch Friday night. Providence defeated Marvin Ridge 2-0.
Providence’s Tucker Jones, right, scores a run as Marvin Ridge pitcher Zach Zdimal looks to cover home plate after a wild pitch Friday night. Providence defeated Marvin Ridge 2-0. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

In a high profile, early-season high school baseball matchup Friday night, defending 4A state champion Providence held off reigning 3A champion Marvin Ridge 2-0.

The Panthers defeated the Mavericks with superb pitching and taking advantage of several Marvin Ridge mistakes.

Senior Logan Davidson and junior Jack Shane combined on a three hitter to shut out Marvin Ridge. The Mavericks’ pitching wasn’t bad either, as starter Jake Kuchmaner and reliever Zach Zdimal also combined on a three-hitter. The difference was two errors, two balks, two wild pitches and a passed ball by Marvin Ridge.

“We competed and did a really good job on the mound,” Providence manager Danny Hignight said. “You’ve got two state champions going head-to-head and it was a classic game.”

Davidson worked out of two jams in the first three innings as Marvin Ridge (1-1) had a player in scoring position at second base in each inning. But two pickoffs in the second and third innings helped bail Providence out.

“We really practice getting picks on the bases,” said Davidson. “We work on our pick game a lot, trying to work on the running game. We put a lot of practice into it and it paid off tonight.”

Providence (2-0) scratched out a run in the fourth inning on an error, a balk and a wild pitch.

Satchel Jerzembeck reached base on a error, and was awarded second on a balk by Kuchmaner. A wild pitch allowed Jerzembeck to score what proved to be the winning run.

“I wish we could have played a little bit better,” Marvin Ridge coach Mark Mennitt said. “My hat goes off to Providence. They did what it took to win the game. That’s why we play these games early. We want to play the best teams around and test where we are.”

Worth mentioning

▪ Friday’s game was also a fundraiser for Claire’s Army, a non-profit that raises money to assist families dealing with pediatric cancer. Steve Ratliff - a former baseball player under Mennitt when he was coach at Independence - and his wife Emily lost a 2 1/2-year-old two daughter to cancer in 2012.

Three who mattered

▪ Providence pitcher Logan Davidson went four strong innings, yielding no runs on two hits while striking our five and walking two. He also picked up the decision.

▪ Marvin Ridge pitcher Jake Kuchmaner went 4 2/3 innings, allowed one hit, one unearned run, struck out three and walked one.

▪ Providence first baseman Mason Ingle had the game’s only extra-base hit, a double in the third inning.

They said it

“We’ve got great kids who compete and grind and do everything we ask them to do. We’ve just got to stick to the process. It’ll be a different path this year, but our plan is to continue to compete and get after it every day.” - Providence manager Danny Hignight.

What’s next

Providence will be at Olympic on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Marvin Ridge will host Ardrey Kell Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

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