Providence High’s baseball team, the No. 1 seed in the 4A West, had a close call in the opening round of the playoffs Tuesday.
The Panthers didn’t have that issue Thursday.
After playing three extra innings to earn a 2-1 win over No. 16 (and final) seed Rasdale, Providence bounced back with a dominant 10-2 win in Round 2 over Lake Norman on Thursday. Lake Norman was the No. 8 seed.
Most of the Panthers’ runs came in the first two innings, largely thanks to a series of fielding errors and mistakes from the Wildcats, as well as the solid hitting of Panthers starting pitcher Jeremy Beamon.
As a pitcher, Beamon, who is committed to Liberty, allowed one earned run and three hits over seven innings. And he was pretty good at the plate, going 1 for 2 with a first-inning double and an second-inning RBI sacrifice fly. Beamon graduated from Providence earlier this month.
“He’s the Cookie Monster, man,” said coach Danny Hignight on Beamon’s performance. “He’s gonna eat.
“He does a great job because he stays composed, and his maturity has changed a ton. Obviously, he’s a graduate now, not a senior. But, you know, he’s a very, very good player for us, works his tail off.”
Beamon’s great game came alongside great run support. When Beamon did concede some runs later in the game, the Panthers came with force in the sixth. Pinch runner Cam Hull stole home for an 8-2 lead, before freshman pinch hitter Collin McDougal sent a two-run moonshot soaring over left-center field, adding runs nine and 10.
“(Those insurance runs) are so important,” Beamon said after the game. “It just takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders. You can kind of go out there and do your thing — just throw and not worry about the score.”
And when Lake Norman got two hits off Beamon in the fifth, plus an earned run, Beamon quickly found his composure, ending the inning by throwing out a runner at first.
“I felt like we were in control, pretty much from the start,” Hignight said. “They got a good club over there, and they played hard. Our guy on the mound tonight did a really great job of staying composed, and we swung the bats and put some pressure on them.”