Portage Central took game one 8-3, followed by a 6-5 Loy Norrix game two win in Tuesday’s SMAC crossover baseball doubleheader at Western Michigan University. In both games, it ended up being the team with fewer hits coming away with the victory in the end.
The Knights started with the opening run on a single and two walks, but control woes for LN starter Daniel Higgins put the Mustangs ahead with a three-run bottom of the first. Caleb Gonzalez pitched five and 2/3 innings for Loy Norrix in relief with five hits and five runs, although none were earned due to errors.
Jacob Gernon allowed one unearned run in his four inning start. Nick Ford tossed the next two innings, followed by a one-two-three seventh by Aiden Eichman, PC had two runs apiece by Luke Leto, Max Longman, and Ben Cunningham. Bronson Wyman notched two RBI on a triple and single. Leto also picked up two RBI and three stolen bases. Drew Dougherty had two hits for the Knights.
W- Jacob Gernon 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 K, 3 BB
L- Daniel Higgins 0 IP, 0 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB
Listen back to the game one broadcast here.
Loy Norrix again opened with the lead and again Portage Central took it away with a three-run inning. The third would be decisive for the Knights, capitalizing on four Mustang errors, two hits, and two walks for a five-run inning. The Mustangs were able to load the bases with one out in the fourth inning, but LN starter Drew Dougherty escaped with only one run allowed. He pitched five innings, whereas PC split the game over four pitchers.
Quick work by Zach MacDonald (three scoreless innings in relief) and sunny skies allowed Portage Central to extend the game to a full seven innings past 8:30 p.m. ET. However, Jacob VanHorne held firm with two scoreless innings in relief for the save. VanHorne added a double, single, run, and RBI offensively. Eichman scored twice for PC with two RBI by Leto.
W- Drew Dougherty 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 K, 2 BB
L- Ben Kempisty 0.1 IP, 5 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 2 BB
S- Jacob VanHorne 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K
Listen back to the game two broadcast here.
Loy Norrix moves to 5-15 overall, notably going 3-2 in their last five games. The Knights travel to Lakeview Thursday for SMAC East play, then host St. Joseph Friday.
Portage Central sits at 13-8 and has two tough SMAC West doubleheaders ahead. Wednesday, they host Lakeshore at Kalamazoo Valley Community Colllege. Thursday, the Mustangs travel to Mattawan.