Portagers clinch share of WMDL baseball title

 

Onekama pitcher Jayden DeWitt delivers during the Portagers’ league-title-winning sweep of Big Rapids Crossroads on Monday. (John Raffel/Pioneer Sports Network)

Onekama pitcher Jayden DeWitt delivers during the Portagers’ league-title-winning sweep of Big Rapids Crossroads on Monday. (John Raffel/Pioneer Sports Network)

BIG RAPIDS — Onekama’s pitching did the job against Big Rapids Crossroads on Monday.

Randy Pienta threw a five-hitter the first game and Jaden DeWitt allowed only three in the second for a 4-1 and 13-2 West Michigan D League doubleheader sweep over Crossroads (16-10 overall, 8-4 WMDL) on Monday at Win Kellum Field.

The win gives Onekama (11-1, 22-3) half of the West Michigan D League championship. They will share the title with Brethren, who gave the Portagers their only league defeat.

The first game went six innings and the second lasted five.

CCA ended its conference season in third. It marks four straight league titles for Onekama.

“I was really proud of my guys to come out first thing,” Onekama coach John Neph said. ‘I knew Crossroads had a very strong team this year. We had a heckuva battle that first game, going back and forth. Randy Pienta pitched well and made an important double play on a bunted ball to get us out of a jam. The next inning he picked a guy off second base.”

Pienta struck out 12 batters. Jon Acton had two hits including a three-run triple in the fourth.

“I was happy the way Pienta pitched,” Neph said. “Jon Acton continues to get the big hit when we need him to.”

“They had decent pitching,” Crossroads coach Jim Davis said. “We made a majority of the errors and had a couple of breaks go against us. But that stuff happens in a game.”

DeWitt in the second game went all five innings and fanned five batters.

“In the second game, we didn’t fight as hard as I wanted them to,” Davis said. “They just have to play harder.”

Hunter Morley had a two-run single to open the scoring in the first inning. He wound up with four hits and six RBI. Acton and Joseph McCarthy had two hits and two RBI apiece while Jacob Mauntler had two hits and one RBI for Onekama.

“We really came together as a team the second game and got the bats rolling,” Morley said. “We definitely came ready to play.”

The Portagers will hit the road again on Wednesday, when they travel to Manton.

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