Portola Tigers play for title
The Portola High School baseball team defeated top-seeded Hamilton 2-1 in the Division IV semifinal playoff game May 19 to advance to the Northern Section championship last Saturday.
The title match was held at Butte College last Saturday, when the fourth-seeded Portola Tigers took on the second-seeded East Nicolaus Spartans. East Nicolaus edged Portola 3-2 for the championship.
After a scoreless first inning, East Nicolaus took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a two-out RBI single.
|Klint Williams slides into third base for an RBI triple, giving Portola a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning of Saturday’s title match.|
East Nicolaus threatened again in the third inning with runners on second and third bases, but Portola’s defense held strong and got out of the inning on a full-count fly ball.
Portola’s two runs came in the fourth inning. Ricky Lowdermilk reached first base on four balls, and then pitcher Billy Broad connected with a triple to score Lowdermilk.
Catcher Klint Williams delivered Portola’s other RBI with another triple to score Broad, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Portola’s one-run advantage lasted through a scoreless fifth inning, when the Tigers’ defense retired three straight batters.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, East Nicolaus brought one runner across the plate to tie the game 2-2.
Clinton Morris earned a lead-off single for Portola on a full count in the seventh inning, but that was to be Portola’s third and final hit of the game.
East Nicolaus won the game in the final inning by recording three hits and scoring the go-ahead run on a bunt. The Spartans finished with 11 hits on the day.
Broad pitched 5-2/3 innings for Portola before being relieved by Morris with two outs in the sixth inning. Senior Jarrod Fleischer was brought in to pitch for the Tigers in the final inning with runners on first and third.
Portola 2, Hamilton 1
The Portola Tigers advanced to the section championship by going on the road and eliminating Hamilton, the No. 1 team in Division IV.
Portola took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but then Hamilton tied it 1-1 in the fourth.
The Tigers scored their game-winning run in the top of the seventh and final inning.
Fleischer and Williams generated Portola’s two RBIs, with Fleischer hitting a double and Williams hitting a triple.
Other hits for Portola were registered by Lowdermilk, Piero Selvaggio and Will Marquette.
Selvaggio and Marquette scored Portola’s two runs.
Lowdermilk was Portola’s winning pitcher, facing 20 batters over six innings and giving up just one run, with three strikeouts and no walks.
Broad pitched one inning, retiring three batters.
The Portola Tigers end their season with an overall record of 15-8 and league record of 4-2, finishing as the Division IV runners-up in the Northern Section.