Sabers split with Portagers
Posted by Matt Wenzel, Manistee News Advocate
MANISTEE — Having already lined up in opposite dugouts this season, Tuesday’s doubleheader between West Michigan D teams Manistee Catholic Central and Onekama was a non-league series.
But, it played out much like the one that counted in the standings as the Portagers and Sabers split at Rietz Park. Onekama took the opener 5-3 in seven innings before MCC bounced back for an 8-3 win in the second game.
“We’re not happy with it,” said MCC coach Dave Ranville, “but if we were happy all the time, we probably wouldn’t be playing the game.”
The first game was tied at 1 through six before the Portagers exploded for four runs in the lone extra inning.
“I’m very happy with it,” said Onekama coach John Neph. “It was a real good outing for us.”
Cordell Williams got the rally started with a one-out double to left that kicked off four straight hits. Jon Eno followed with an RBI single and Joe Eno and Stephen Verrett hit back-to-back run-scoring doubles before the Portagers plated their final run on an error.
“I think Jon Eno’s single was a huge at-bat,” Neph said. “He took a really good pitch on two strikes and put it in play. … Really good at-bats in that inning and that’s what we had to have. I’m happy for the guys.”
MCC had just wrapped up at least a share of the league title with a split against Brethren on Monday, which Ranville said was probably a factor.
“After you get excited … it’s a natural downer to come back the next day after you’ve been so high the day before,” he said.
MCC snuck a couple runs across in their half of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Robert Sewell and a wild pitch, but they weren’t enough.
Verrett earned the win on the mound with a complete-game performance that included four strikeouts. Sewell was charged with the loss after throwing six innings in relief of Nathan Papes and striking out five.