Phillies split doubleheader with Farmers 0
The Portage Phillies felt they hadn't faced the crème de la crème of the Winnipeg Fastball League in rolling to a 5-0 record early in the season.
They got their first taste of the league's elite at Republic of Manitobah Park on Thursday night, and were up to the task, picking up a 4-2 win over the defending league champion Farmers of Plum Coulee (4-3-1). The Phillies were finally blemished in the second game of the doubleheader, as Plum Coulee's seventh-inning rally led to a walk-off win for the Farmers.
In the opener, Dan Fedak starred for Portage scoring the winning and insurance runs in the win. Fedak was two-for-three at the plate with a single and a triple.
The Farmers got to Phillies started Gregg Waldvogel for a run in the second, but Troy Mutch and Rob Olson crossed the plate in the bottom of the inning to give the Phillies the lead.
Fedun then scored his first run in the bottom of the third. Plum Coulee climbed to within one in the fifth, but Fedun restored the two-run lead in the sixth.
Waldvogel pitched the complete game, striking out six Farmers.
Both teams seemed to tune their bats up for Game 2, as the Farmers led 3-2 after one and 7-6 after two. Plum Coulee extended its lead to 10-6 in the fourth, but Portage rallied with a pair in the fourth before grasping a lead with four in the sixth. However, the Farmers pushed through to get the three necessary runs in the bottom of seven to split the evening,
Troy Mutch led Portage by smacking two homers and scoring three runs in total. Bryce Graham, who plated twice, had triples in the fifth and sixth innings to help spark the Phillies' surge.
Devon Smith, Jay Dewis and Fedak also had two runs apiece for Portage.
Graham said the Phillies were able to overcome plenty of challenges in the first game, but had some trouble in the second.
"We played the best pitcher in the league in the first one, battled for our run and it's nice to see the boys pull off that one for sure," said Graham. "In the second one, it was a rough start and we kept battling back.
"You score 12 runs, you're going to win a lot of games, but it didn't go our way tonight."
For more, please see Monday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.