By JON REITER
NEW ALBANY —
A pair of homers in the bottom half of the first inning gave New Albany pitcher Josh Rogers plenty of room to feel comfortable on the mound. The left-hander struck out 10 Providence batters to help the Bulldogs to a 10-0 win in six innings over the Pioneers at Mount Tabor Field on Thursday night.
“He never really got into too much trouble,” New Albany coach Chris McIntyre said of Rogers, who improved to 6-2 on the season. “He gave up a couple of singles here and there. But for the most part, he was really under control.”
Providence pitcher Andrew Hunt led off the game with a single up the middle. But Rogers sandwiched strikeouts of Dorian Noel and George Knott between another single from Justin Starr with two outs. But Rogers punched out the Pioneers’ Nick Campbell on three pitches to close out the first, and the New Albany pitcher wouldn’t allow another baserunner until Ben Shahroudi singled in the top half of the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, the New Albany lineup roughed up Hunt, who relinquished seven runs on five hits, four walks and a hit batter before giving way to Cristian Ensley in the bottom of the second inning.
After Hunt got New Albany leadoff hitter Tucker Marcum to fly out to left field to open the game, the Bulldogs’ Eric Burnett doubled to right field. On the first pitch of the next at-bat, third baseman Jordan Striegel slammed a massive home run to dead center field to drive home Burnett.
Hunt then followed with walks to Garrett Sherrell and Logan Striegel, and with one out, Clayton Poff followed with a three-run homer to center that gave New Albany (17-2) a 5-0 lead.
“Offensively, we’re just getting a little bit better every game,” McIntyre said of his Class 4A No. 5 Bulldogs. “Defense and pitching carried us, but we’ve been swinging the bats a lot better the last few weeks.”
The Bulldogs added two runs in the second, one in the third and ended the game in the bottom of the sixth after scoring three runs.
Burnett gave the Bulldogs their third homer of the night after he touched up Ensley to dead-center field with no outs. Jordan Striegel followed with a single, teammate Jack Shine doubled next and Brady Parr ended the game with an infield single that brought home Jordan Striegel.
Providence (8-9) wasn’t able to muster any offense against Rogers or Jordan Striegel, who entered the game in the sixth inning and struck out Aaron Patterson and Starr before getting Campbell on a groundout to close out the contest.
New Albany will host Bloomington South at Mount Tabor tonight, and Providence’s next game will come Wednesday night when it travels to Charlestown.
NEW ALBANY 521 003—10 9 0
PROVIDENCE 000 000— 0 4 1
W — Rogers (6-2). L — Hunt (2-2). 2B — Burnett (NA), Shine (NA). HR — J. Striegel (NA), Poff (NA), Burnett (NA).
Records — New Albany 17-2, Providence 8-9.