STANTON - With the potential winning run on second base with one out in the top of eighth inning, Wolverine's Bruce MacDonald was just looking to put the ball in play.
Instead, MacDonald punched an opposite-field single to right to drive in the eventual winning run in his team's 3-2 win over Portage Lake in Oldtimers baseball play Saturday.
"That was about it for strategy on my part," MacDonald said. "I knew we had some speed at second base."
Harold Filpus of the Portage Lake Oldtimers takes a pitch in the dirt blocked by Wolverine catcher Al Piirala during Saturday’s game in Stanton. (Paul Peterson photo)
Al Piirala and Tom Clisch put together one-out singles to set the stage for MacDonald. Pete Oikarinen was pinch-running for the former.
Three of Wolverine's younger players played key roles for the victors. Greg and Glenn Patrick each had two hits (along with MacDonald and Tino Kitalong) while Steve Stukel hurled a complete game on the hill.
"I thought that Steve (Stukel) did a really good job. He was able to get out of a couple of tough situations," Wolverine manager Jim Oikarinen said. "He pitched well in the clutch."
The win by Wolverine made the annual two-game series between the two at 23-22 in favor of Portage Lake.
Glenn Patrick's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning put the winners ahead at 1-0.
After PL tied it up in the bottom on the fourth on a RBI single by Floyd Wakeham, Wolverine took a 2-1 advantage on a bases-loaded walk to Piirala in the fifth frame.
Dan Coffey's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth knotted it at 2-2 .
After a scoreless seventh frame, the northend crew was able to get to reliever Mike Olson in the eighth.
It was just the second extra-inning game in the long series.
"It was a good ballgame," PL manager Paul Bianucci commented. "The pitchers pretty much controlled the game."
Stukel allowed eight hits and fanned three batters. Wakeham, who started for Portage Lake and went five innings, and Olson gave up 11 safeties.
Coffey was the lone PL player with two hits.