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Providence rallies past Hilltoppers for rivalry bragging rights

In another edition of one of Illinois' best high school sports rivalries, the Providence Celtics defeated the Joliet Catholic Academy Hilltoppers 6-4 at Gillespie Field on Wednesday afternoon.

With the Hilltoppers leading 3-2, the Celtics (9-6) scored a run in the top of the fifth to tie the contest at 3-3. In the top of the sixth, the Celtics scored three times and roll to the 6-4 victory.

Behind their starting left-handed sophomore pitcher T.J. Schlageter (4 IP, 2R.4H.2ER,1K, 1BB), the Hilltoppers (5-8) led 3-2 after four innings.

The Hill tied the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on a RBI groundout from senior Brody Munch (2-for-4, 2RBI). Junior Danny O'Brien picked up an RBI the hard way, when he was plunked with the bases loaded, giving the Hilltoppers a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

After Providence tied the game in the top of the third at 2-2, the Hilltoppers retook the lead on a wild pitch that scored junior Mike Ascencio, who had reached base on a dropped-third strike.

Schlageter was lifted after four innings and the Celtics rallied against the Joliet Catholic bullpen.

"T.J. pitched well for us," Joliet Catholic coach Jared Voss said. "Being just a sophomore we are working with him to make quality pitches. T.J. threw 69 pitches and we have confidence in our bullpen but it just didn't work out today."

The Hill pulled within 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI single from Munch. In the bottom of the seventh, Hilltopper junior Lorenzo Rios got a two-out pinch hit single off of Providence winning pitcher Jake Wajda.

Wajda retired the final Hill hope, to give his Celtics bragging rights in the heated JCA-Providence Catholic rivalry.


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