Mattawan and Portage Central Split In Key SMAC Matchup

Game 1

In game 1 of a key SMAC West Division showdown the Mattawan Wildcats defeated Portage Central by a score of 6-1.  Senior Austin Collison got the Wildcats rolling early with a solo homerun in the first inning. The Wildcats then exploded for four runs in the 4th inning off of Portage Central ace and Coastal Carolina commit Cole Schaefer.  

Collison again started things for the Wildcats by leading off with a single, which was followed by a walk to senior Trevor Fink.  Ben Root, another talented senior for the Wildcats, then stroked a ground rule double to right field that plated Collison.  Senior Ryan DeMorrow followed with line drive to right center scoring two more and senior BJ Butler, best known as a pitcher, added another by driving in DeMorrow with a base hit.

Mattawan ace and Ball State signee BJ Butler was outstanding on the mound recording the first seven outs of the game on strikeouts.  He ended up with 11 strikeouts for the game and allowed just one walk. The only run managed by the Mustangs was unearned in the seventh and spoiled Butler's bid for shutout.

Game 2 

In game 2 Portage Central bounced back strong scoring two runs in the bottom half of the first frame. Leadoff hitter junior Ryan Mergener singled and scored when senior Nate Schneider, a Western Michigan commit, doubled to left field. Schneider then scored when first basemen Jordan Muffley singled.  After that the game settled into a pitchers dual between Portage Central's senior Jared Vanderbor and Mattawan's senior Austin Collison.  

The Wildcats threatened throughout the contest, but could not push across any runs, including the key fifth inning when they loaded the bases with one out. Vanderbor struck out the next two hitters though to end the rally.  Vanderbor demonstrated outstanding command of his curveball throughout the game striking out nine and allowing five hits to garner the win.

Collison was outstanding in defeat allowing just three hits and the two runs scored in the first.  

With the win, Portage Central assumes control of the SMAC West by improving to 7-1 in the division.  


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