Providence baseball team ready to add to its tradition in state semifinals

The Providence baseball team is in the state semifinals for the first time since 2016. (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tommy Boss knows the baseball tradition at Providence well.

His mission — add to it this week.

The Stallions are in the state semifinals for the first time since 2016, with Boss and a tough group of nine Providence seniors ready to try and keep their season going. On Friday morning at 10, Providence (25-4) faces Clearwater Calvary Christian (26-4) in a collision of two of the best teams in the state, regardless of classification.

“They’ve played together for such a long time. They’re all a group, a good group of kids,” Boss said. “And for us, it’s just about adding stickers to the wall. So hopefully we can get one more one more on it this weekend.”

It’s been a long time since the Stallions have been on this stage. Providence was a constant visitor to the final four in the 2000s and even through the middle of the 2010s. But after a state semifinal loss to Bishop Verot in 2016, Providence hadn’t been back.

Until now.

For first-year coach Boss, he knew the Stallions tradition well. He coached at Dunnellon in two stints and also had assistant coaching stops at St. Johns River State College and the University of North Florida.

“For them, this season is about kind of leaving their legacy, leaving their mark. You know, putting a sticker on the board,” Boss said. “Providence has such a proud tradition and the coaches before us did an amazing job with the teams. And you see all these year marks on the wall and our boys haven’t been a part of that.”

Boss said that Providence is very well prepared for the trip to Fort Myers. The change in playing a state series game at a big facility is the shift in itinerary and alterations to the routine. That’s why Boss circles back to an early season trip to Hoover, Alabama and points to that as the framework of what a state semifinal trip looks like.

The schedule is something else that has prepped the Stallions for this trip. Providence played the most difficult schedule in the area by far. In addition to its usual road trips to face out-of-area giants, Providence played the best local programs. Juniors Mason Wortmann (.411) and Andrew Johnson (.411) lead the team at the plate.

“It’s Jacksonville baseball. Every time you turn around, next thing you know we’re facing a 90-mph pitcher. You’re like, ‘Holy cow.’ Like, ‘Can we get a break here?’ But a loss is just a chance to learn a little bit about yourself. What could we have done a little bit better?

“Each guy needs to kind of look into the mirror, you know, what can I do to help our team be more successful? And that’s kind of what we do. Try to draw from them so that it doesn’t happen again.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.