BURBANK — Strangers to the postseason, the members of the Providence High baseball team showed they could handle themselves during their first playoff run in 13 seasons.
The Pioneers faced their biggest test Tuesday, when they met second-seeded Pasadena Poly in a CIF Southern Section Division VI second-round home game at Foy Park.
After escaping a couple of early jams, youthful Providence yielded five runs in the fourth inning and suffered a 5-2 defeat.
Providence, which finished tied for third in the Liberty League and opened the postseason with a 9-3 first-round road win against Hesperia Christian, finished 9-12. Pasadena Poly, which captured the Prep League championship, improved to 18-5.
"We came a long way this year," said providence assistant Coach Bill Holt, who filled in for Coach Steve Knez. "We wanted to get the program heading in the right direction and we have done that.
"It bodes well for us going into next year and they have a taste of what it's like to win [a playoff game] and go up against a quality team like Pasadena Poly. We'll get back at it soon."
Providence field a 14-member team, seven of whom are sophomores. The Pioneers competed Tuesday without starting sophomore first baseman Harrison Pyros, who had a previous engagement.
In comparison, Pasadena Poly had a team filled mostly of juniors and seniors. The Panthers have won or shared 19 straight league championships.
Providence starting pitcher Sean Holt got himself out of jams in each of the third innings before the Panthers regrouped in the fourth. Kyle Beerman walked with the bases loaded to give Pasadena Poly a 1-0 lead. Griffin Carter then chopped a two-run single over the first baseman to make it 3-0.
David Orndorff provided the Panthers with a 4-0 advantage on a sacrifice fly to left before an RBI single by Michael Bowman completed the scoring for Pasadena Poly.
"They have a good hitting team," said Bill Holt. "We tried to keep them off balance.
"They have a lot of smart hitters."
Providence scored twice in its half of the fourth. With two outs and runners on second and third, sophomore left fielder Marco Angrisani had a seeing-eye single just past the second baseman to score Thomas Keller and Sean Holt. Holt had led off the inning with a single and reached third on a double by Holt.
"I just wanted to get us started and back into the game," Angrisani said. "It's a great experience.
"We did a lot of good things today. We played our best game defensively. They just beat us. I think we can have a good team next year."
Orndorff relieved starter Zack Bern with two outs in the fifth and got the final out on a grounder. Orndorff then retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh.
Sean Holt got out of a tough spot in the first. After the first two batters reached base, Holt got two foul pop ups and a grounder to first. He then loaded the bases with two outs in the second before getting a line out to second.
The Pioneers finished with three hits.
The Panthers, who began their playoff run with a 3-1 home win against Fillmore, received three hits from Bing Banta and two from Beerman.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich