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Lakers face Portage in playoffs

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The Ebb and Flow Lakers had a chance to prove something to their opponents when they hosted the league-leading Portage Padres in a doubleheader, Saturday in Ste. Rose.
Portage came into the day looking to clinch first place and they did just that with a 3-0 win in game one and an 8-6 triumph in game two.
Knowing the two teams would likely meet in the first round of the Santa Clara Baseball League playoffs, the Lakers wanted to prove to the Padres they would not be pushovers.
They did just that.
Although the Lakers only had five baserunners in the first game, they held Portage off the scoreboard until the fourth when the Padres scored a single run. Portage put the game away with two runs in the sixth.
Ebb and Flow starter Brandon Racette allowed just nine Portage batters to reach base.
In the second game. Ebb and Flow took a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but fell behind 8-1 after five innings. But the Lakers made a game of it in the bottom of the seventh, scoring five runs, highlighted by a two-run double by Racette and a two-run triple by Shaquille Houle.
With the wins, Portage clinched first place with an 11-1-2 record, while the Lakers finish the season at 1-13.
The teams will open their best-of-three series, tonight in Portage, with game two, Friday in Ste. Rose.
Lakers coach Brian Houle said the Lakers played well despite being shorthanded.
“For a long time there, it was 1-0 for them. And then the second game, for awhile, it was 1-0 for us. They were close games,” he said.
Keeping the games close gives the Lakers confidence heading into game one tonight.
“It sure does. That’s what the boys say. This was our first game against them. So they know now that they can play with them,” he said.
Racette will get the start in game one, while Archie McIvor, who pitched the second game on Saturday, will take to the hill in game two on Friday.
Houle feels the Lakers have improved a lot in recent games and hopes that will continue in the playoffs. But they will have to get the offence going a little sooner.
“We’ve never had the same lineup. Some guys today are playing (fastball) in Dauphin. It’s never the same lineup,” he said, adding he hopes to have more players available in the playoffs.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER
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