Providence Day baseball coach Jim Cerbie, who is in his 30th season as the Chargers’ skipper, returned a veteran ballclub after winning the CISAA championship and advancing to the semifinal round of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state playoffs in 2016.
Expectations remain high at Providence Day.
The goals for the Chargers are to defend their league crown and earn a reasonable seed for the playoffs. Once they’re in, the Chargers should be a tough out. Providence Day’s veteran experience should give a talented team a leg up on younger teams.
For Providence Day, it all starts on the mound with senior pitcher George Carroll (Williams College commit), who only tops out at 81 miles per hour, but locates his pitches well, throws strikes and has a devastating changeup.
Senior pitcher Will Madairy (Macalaster College commit) also just reaches about 81 miles per hour as his maximum speed, but in a way that’s similar to Carroll, he locates his pitches well and throws strikes. He confounds opposing batters with his curveball. Senior Zach Iverson, who is the closer, also can play in the outfield, third base and first base. He brings versatility to the lineup. He reaches the upper 80s and throws strikes.
Junior Bryce Daniel (Darmouth commit) gives the Chargers a quality leadoff hitter. Senior captain Max Lahn (Dennison commit), a shortstop, provides Cerbie with a seasoned veteran in the infield.
Junior Justin Murray, who is Providence Day’s third starting pitcher, also excels at the plate and as one of the best defensive third basemen to come through the program.
The goal to defend their conference title won’t be easy for the Chargers (6-3, 0-2 CISAA), especially after they lost their best-of-three series with Charlotte Country Day to begin league action. They can get back on track in the series finale against the Buccaneers Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m. before hosting Cannon on Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. for the start of another CISAA best-of-three series.
Providence Day is far from panicking. It didn’t start to catch fire until the Jack Sink Tournament at the end of March last season. Coincidentally, the Chargers will be in the Jack Sink Tournament again this season, starting with a date against the host school, Myers Park, on Monday, April 10, at 4 p.m.
“I think we have good leadership in the senior class. It’s a very special senior group,” Cerbie said. “They’re able to know when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play. It’s a rare group that can differentiate between the two, but they have some high expectations for themselves.”
Cerbie added his players expect to win when they step on the field, which hasn’t always been the case at Providence Day. The program went from hoping to win two years ago to expecting to win last season, and that mindset has carried over to 2017.