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Providence baseball wins Game 1; weather wipes out nightcap

Photo: David McGregor  Providence baserunner Austin Smith runs over and knocks the ball out of Savannah Christian catcher Jonathan Chamblees glove during the Stars victory over the Raiders on Monday afternoon. Smith was called out at home for not sliding.

Photo: David McGregor Providence baserunner Austin Smith runs over and knocks the ball out of Savannah Christian catcher Jonathan Chamblees glove during the Stars victory over the Raiders on Monday afternoon. Smith was called out at home for not sliding.

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Photo: David McGregor Providence's Luke Henderson fires a pitch to the plate during the Stars game one win over Savannah Christian during the Class A state semifinals on Monday afternoon in Lilburn.

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Photo: David McGregor Providence third baseman Erich Stahl throws out a baserunner at first during the Stars victory on Monday against Savannah Christian in the Class A semifinals in Lilburn.

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Photo: David McGregor Providence's John Bailey (9) gets tagged out at third by Savannah Christian's Andrew Brodmanm on during the Stars victory over the Raiders in game one of the Class A semifinals on Monday in Lilburn.

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Photo: David McGregor Providence's Austin Loyd rounds third base during the Stars game one win against Savannah Christian Academy on Monday in the Class A state semifinals in Lilburn.

LILBURN -- Mother Nature decided to pay a visit to the Class A baseball state semifinal best-of-three series between Providence Christian and Savannah Christian on Monday and she didn't come in a friendly frame of mind.

A lightning delay after the first inning of Game 2 turned into a rain delay when a torrential downpour hit and eventually forced the postponement of the contest around 6 p.m.

That was due primarily to the fact that Providence's field does not have lights and it would have taken considerable time just to get the playing surface ready to play again.

So Game 2 will start over as a new contest with first pitch set for 1 p.m. and Providence holding a 1-0 lead in the series. A Game 3, if necessary, will follow.

That's because Game 1 went to Providence in an 11-5 victory over Savannah Christian as the Stars broke open a 5-4 contest with two runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth to pull away for the win.

The Providence bats were hot in Game 1 as the Stars scored in four of the six innings to kept the pressure on three Savannah Christian pitchers.

Along with the 11-run outburst, Providence pounded out 12 hits and had only one three-up, three-down inning in the sixth.

Austin Loyd singled home Erich Stahl and Charlie Scott chased home Loyd with an RBI single to give Providence a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Providence (24-10) came right back and put up three more runs in the second inning to give the Stars a five-run lead.

A wild pitch scored John Bailey and then a throwing error on a grounder to third base scored Loyd that made it 4-0.

Austin Golden's RBI single got Christin Stewart across the plate and the Stars were cruising at 5-0 after two innings.

But Savannah Christian (21-12) had its most explosive inning in the top of the third off Providence starter Luke Henderson when the Raiders scored four times and cut the Stars' lead to 5-4.

Jonathan Chamblee doubled and pinch runner Wade Benton scored Savannah Christian's first run of the game on an RBI single from Will Austin to make it 5-1.

Most of the damage came on a three-run homer to right by first baseman Eric Davis with Austin and Bryce Evans on board to cut the margin to a single run.

But Providence answered back with two runs in the fourth and chased Savannah Christian starter Chandler Wilkinson from the game.

Austin Smith (2-for-3, two RBIs) doubled to left to score Loyd, then Golden launched a sacrifice fly to center field to score Stewart and give Providence a little breathing room at 7-4.

After Savannah Christian got one run back in the top of the fifth on Evans' fielder's choice to score Andrew Brodmann, Providence stuck a four-spot on the scoreboard to race out to a six-run lead at 11-5.

Smith's RBI single got Stahl home and Golden (2-for-3, four RBI) came through with a double to left to score Loyd and Stewart and increase the lead to 10-5.

Scott (2-for-3, two RBI) finished the scoring with an RBI single to plate Smith.

Providence turned the game over to Max Broom on the mound and the junior right-hander blanked Savannah Christian over the final two innings while striking out three.

Henderson (6-3) picked up the win with a solid five-inning effort as the junior left-hander allowed five runs on six hits, three of those runs coming on one swing of the bat when Davis homered in the third.

Henderson also struck out five Savannah Christian batters in the winning effort.