No. 5 Providence Uses Two Big Innings To Get By No. 12 St. Laurence


By Danny Jimenez and Drew Locascio
Illinois Staff

On Wednesday afternoon, No. 5 Providence Catholic took on No. 12 St. Laurence, at Lee Pfund Field, in one of the top early matchups of the 2021 season. Providence scored three runs in the first inning and tacked on four more in the fourth, eventually coming away with a 7-3 win.

Providence (2-0) wasted no time getting on the board, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. The first run of the game came on a bases loaded walk to senior, Lewis University commit, Kyle Hussey. Justin Janowski, a senior South Suburban JC commit, followed up with the big hit of the inning, a two-run single which stretched the lead to 3-0 at the time. 

With the game tied at three in the fourth inning, Janowski got things going for Providence once again with a leadoff double to left field. Junior Tyler Young followed up with a hard-hit single that went off the pitchers glove which advanced Janowski to third base. Later in the frame, with two-outs, Sebastian Biggs, a senior Ave Maria commit, drove a triple into the right-center field scoring Janowski and Young. With the score now 5-3 in the Celtics favor and two-men on, Cain Headrick, a senior Lewis commit, delivered his second-hit of the game, this time a two-run double to center which extended the Providence lead to 7-3, a score that held true the rest of the way. 

The storyline on the mound for Providence was the relief appearance they got from Jack Wajda. With the game tied at three heading to the third inning, Providence Catholic turned Wajda, a junior right-hander who kept the St. Laurence offense at bay the rest of the game. Wajda, listed at 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, tossed five shutout innings, allowing three hits, one walk, while striking out seven. Wajda’s fastball sat 82-84 touching 87, while consistently locating to his glove-side. Wajda also showed arguably the best breaking ball of the day, which sat in the mid-70’s throughout. The uncommitted junior was able to land the tight-spinning slider for strikes in any count, even catching a hitter looking on a 3-2 count for the strikeout.  He also showed feel for a changeup, giving him an above-average three-pitch mix to follow moving forward. Overall, he threw 62% of his pitches for strikes over the five innings of work.

St. Laurence (1-1) scored two runs in the first inning and one in the second. Senior Kevin McCormick, an Evansville commit, doubled to drive in St. Laurence's first run of the game. McCormick later scored on a first-and-third double steal when the catcher threw through to second base. In the second inning, sophomore Luke Stulga doubled and advanced to third on an error, to lead off the frame. Stulga then scored on a Mike Laudando RBI groundout to the right-side, which tied the game at the time.

RHP Alex Alberico got the start on the mound for Providence Catholic. Alberico, ranked No. 28 in the Illinois’ 2022 class, worked mostly 86-88 mph throughout his two-inning stint.

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