PORTAGE | Fresh off a heartbreaking loss to Chesterton on Thursday afternoon, Lake Central coach Jeff Sandor decided to shake up his lineup.
Zach Turnbough took full advantage.
Playing in just his third varsity game, the freshman third baseman delivered the first hits of his career and four RBI to help lead Times No. 3 Lake Central to a 14-1 victory in five innings over No. 6 Portage on Friday afternoon.
“The older guys have been making me feel really at home,” Turnbough said. “It felt great to get my first hits. It really takes a weight off my shoulders.”
Sandor moved players around in the lineup after Lake Central gave up six runs in the sixth inning to Chesterton on Thursday. The Indians (8-4, 3-2 DAC) responded with six runs in the third inning against Portage before adding seven runs in the fourth inning.
“I’m proud of our kids for punching first today,” Sandor said. “Zach was part of the shakeup. It’s been a while since we’ve played a freshman here.”
Turnbough’s day started with a deep blast to center field that C.J. Haupt tracked down to turn an unorthodox double play. The freshman responded with a two-run single in the third inning and then a two-run double in the fourth.
“Every time Zach was up he had good hits today,” Sandor said. “I thought he had a great hit in the second inning, but you tip your cap to the centerfielder for making that catch. Zach hit the ball well.”
Portage coach Tim Pirowski could only shake his head after the Indians (10-5, 3-3) dropped their third straight DAC contest. Portage got blown out by Valparaiso and then lost a tough 4-3 contest to Crown Point on Thursday.
Portage went through four pitchers on Friday with the bullpen giving up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings.
“No question it’s been a rough week,” Pirowski said. “Playing five straight DAC games will take a toll on pitching. We gave away 12 free passes today and you can’t do that in a 5-inning game.”