It was an up-and-down night for the Portage summer baseball team on Tuesday as the Warriors split squad went 1-2 in a trio of games.
In their weekly Woodside Tuesday Night League, the Warriors routed New Lisbon 14-4 in five innings and fell to the Woodside Combo team 4-2.
The other half of the Portage team fell to DeForest 5-1 in a Capitol Lakes Conference game at Portage High School.
Despite losing two of the three games, Portage coach Mike Hemming was happy so many players were able to take the field.
“That’s what summer’s all about,” Hemming said. “It was just great to be able to get a lot of players playing baseball on one night.”
In the night’s first game in Mauston, the Warriors rolled to a 14-4 win in five innings over New Lisbon.
The Rockets struck first with a run in the top of the first, but Portage responded with a pair in the bottom half for a 2-1 lead.
The Warriors blew the game open in the second, scoring seven runs to build a hefty 9-1 advantage.
After loading the bases with no outs, Dev VanPietersom and Brett Walker hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 4-1.
The Warriors kept things going as Grant Garrigan worked an RBI walk and Justin Sankey laced a two-run single and Portage tacked on two more runs to go up 9-1.
“We hit the ball well,” Hemming said. “And we were able to score by putting the ball in play as well.”
New Lisbon responded with three runs in the top of the third to cut the Warriors’ lead to 9-4, but Portage’s hit parade continued as it scored five runs over the next two frames to put the game away.
Portage pounded out 12 hits and had four players with multiple hits. Garrigan and Ryan Schultz, who made his first varsity appearance, each went 2-for-2, while Sankey and Cody Jahn each went 2-for-3 with the latter hitting a double.
Matthew Miles picked up the win, allowing two earned runs on four hits over three innings, while Connor Allsage threw two innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts.
The Warriors were unable to match their success in their second game against the Woodside Combo team, falling 4-2 in the night cap of the doubleheader.
As the visitors, Portage got off to a hot start, as the Warriors scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first. Sankey got the Warriors on the board with a one-out RBI triple and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Ready Dresen for a 2-0 lead.
The advantage was short-lived, as the Combo team answered with four runs in the bottom of the first and kept the Warriors off the board over the final six innings to pick up the win.
Walker picked up the loss, allowing three runs on two hits with five walks and two strikeouts over two innings.
Allsage was strong in relief again, striking out six and allowing one hit over the final four frames, while Sankey had the lone extra-base hit for the Warriors.
“Connor has really stepped up and emerged as one of our top pitchers,” Hemming said. “And Justin right now is producing as our best hitter. That’s what you hope a second-year varsity player is going to do.”
Even though his team came out on the wrong side, Hemming knows that the Warriors have made strides over the course of the summer.
“As the summer continues, we’re getting more reps and we’re getting more comfortable,” he said. “We’re just hoping all the time pays off in the spring.”
Portage will look to rebound tonight at 6 p.m. when it hosts Lodi in a Capitol Lakes Conference game.
PORTAGE 14, NEW LISBON 4 (5)
New Lisbon 103 00 – 4 5 1
Portage 272 3x – 14 12 3
Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) – NL: Pederson (L, 2-7-8-2-0), G. Rogers (2-5-5-2-2). P: Miles (W, 3-4-2-2-1), Allsage (2-1-0-0-4).
Leading hitters – NL: A. Rogers 2x2. 3B – A. Rogers 2. P: Garrigan 2x2, Schultz 2x2, Sankey 2x3, Jahn 2x3. 2B – Jahn.
WOODSIDE COMBO 4, PORTAGE 2
Portage 200 000 0 – 2 3 1
Woodside Combo 400 000 x – 4 3 1
Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) – P: Walker (L, 2-2-3-5-2), Allsage (4-1-0-1-6).
Leading hitters – P: none. 3B – Sankey.