Last week, Providence head coach Jesse Jensen said the only thing the Wolverines could do to stay on top of the Northern Utah League standings was to “keep winning.”
His team has done just that in the past seven days. The Wolverines have now won four straight, including Tuesday evening’s 16-4 rout of the Logan Royals in five innings at Worthington Park.
Providence starting pitcher Spenser Triplett had a no-hitter going through his three innings pitched before handing off the ball to Ben Weese. Triplett struck out four batters and walked just one man in his three-inning shutout. He tossed just 41 pitches across three frames while his contemporary, Logan’s Patton Jones, threw 100 in 2.2 innings.
Behind the Wolverines (15-6) bullpen, the defense worked hard to make sure every ball put in play still ended as an out. They did their job flawlessly early on.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can play (defense) so I’m confident throwing the ball in there letting people swing it,” Triplett said. “They put it in play I’ve got a lot of guys behind me willing to make the play.”
It certainly helped matters that by the time Triplett walked onto the mound for his first pitch of the night, his side was already up 4-0. The offense, as Triplett put it, is “working for us” recently. In the four-game run, Providence has scored 46 runs in total and three times reaching double-digit runs. Three of Providence’s wins — and all three double-digit run games — in the past week were against they Royals (3-20).
In Tuesday’s game, Cooper Kunz led the way in the hitting department, going 3-for-3 and getting an RBI on each at-bat. Kunz also scored twice. Jake Dahle was the only other Wolverine with multiple hits at 2-for-4 with one RBI, but every man in the batting order got at least one hit for the night’s total of 11 for the visitors.
For a night with 16 runs, the Wolverines were somewhat lacking in extra-base hits. They got three doubles courtesy of Braxton Jensen, Kunz and Eric Carter, but other than that, Providence played death by singles, taking advantage of the eight walks given up by the Royals.
Eventually, the Wolverines slowed its scoring roll and that’s when Logan’s bats came alive. But to describe Logan’s fourth inning — wherein they scored four runs — as too little, to late might be entirely inadequate. But the life shown was admirable for a team down 16 runs and the sweet release of a mercy-rule ending just a few outs away.
The sight of balls dropping into the gaps of the defense instead of the Wolverines mitts, and the picture of Royals jerseys crossing home plate helped to relieve some pent-up frustration on the home team’s part on a long night.
In the end, it wasn’t enough to prolong the game for the Royals who are in the cellar of the NUL.