Baseball: Portage uses 12-run third to down ClarkPortage's Zach Thorn knock a two run double in the third to put the Indians up 15-1 against Hammond Clark Friday afternoon in Portage. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 13, 2012 8:25PM
PORTAGE — Portage’s offense took advantage of every opportunity it had on Friday, hitting its way to a 15-1 win in five innings over Clark.
But the Indians’ biggest opportunity — and biggest results — came in a 12-run third inning.
“Those big innings are always huge during the season,” Portage coach Tim Pirowski said. “You have to be able to capitalize on a team’s mistakes. If you don’t, it’s going to be a long day.”
It was actually Clark that took an early lead in the first inning, thanks to leadoff man Jerald Morgan. He singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Portage throwing error.
“Jerald’s been hitting the ball real nice of late,” Clark coach Chris Moore said. “We were then able to get a bunt down … but our execution stopped there.”
Portage got its first opportunity in the bottom half of that inning, when Clark starter Argenis Reyes walked the first two batters he faced. Portage senior Gabe Acevedo capitalized with a three-run homer.
“I was just trying to make contact; I didn’t want to do too much with it, but I got lucky and it went out,” Acevedo said of his first home run of the season.
After a quiet second inning, Portage erupted in the third, sending 17 hitters to the plate. The Indians scored 12 times in the inning on six hits, six walks and three errors by Clark.
“We just got hitters’ counts and we were selective in those counts,” Pirowski said. “We got some pitches we liked and did something with them.”
Portage starter Ty Kniola settled down after Clark’s run in the first inning and kept the Pioneers scoreless for the rest of the game.
“For the most part, he was getting ahead on hitters, which was big,” Pirowski said. “Those first-pitch strikes set him up to be successful.”