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Portage Lake earns win

WOLVERINE — Portage Lake got off to a fast start and used that cushion to notch a 15-7 oldtimers softball win over Wolverine Saturday afternoon.

The game was the second in the annual two-game set between the two rivals.

“We were able to get up on them right away,” Portage Lake manager Joe Romano said. “That’s always important in these kind of games.”

The winners sent 10 batters to the plate in the opening frame and tallied six times. Several walks and key hits by Paul Kangas and Mark Kelly did the damage.

Wolverine starter Glen Stukel was driven from the contest after giving up three more runs in the second.

That brought in reliever Scott Laurie.

“I thought he (Laurie) did a nice job,” Wolverine manager Jim Oilarinen said. “He was able to keep us somewhat close.”

The northend team punched across four runs in the third inning on hits by Oikarinen, Glen Patrick, David Aird and Greg Patrick.

Portage Lakes starting hurler Floyd Wakeham was forced to leave the game with shoulder problems and Rick Niemi took over at that point.

Niemi allowed just three runs.

“Rick (Niemi) came in and pretty much closed the door on them,” Romano commented.

Wakeham helped salt away the game with a three-run single in the sixth inning.

Kelly picked up three hits to spark PL, while Gordy Rintala added two more base raps.

Greg Patrick’s two hits topped the Wolverine offense.

Portage, which has won the last five games in the series, holds a 31-24 advantage.

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