It was the usual Saturday afternoon baseball game between two of Indiana’s most “rich traditioned” teams, the Laporte Slicers and the Plymouth Pilgrims. It included good pitching, timely hitting, and controversy! In the end, the Pilgrims escaped with a 8-7 win over the Slicers.
“I don’t quite know what to say about this one. A dropped pop-up by us , with the bases loaded and one out, led to a double play and win! How’s that?”, said Plymouth Coach Tony Plothow.
That’s how the game ended with Plymouth leading by one run in the Top of the 7th and Laporte with the bases loaded. Laporte’s Francis Silfa hit a shallow fly in short right-center field, where Pilgrim second baseman Dan Smith went to make the catch, but dropped it. The Laporte runner from third, David Eldridge, took off late not sure if he needed to tag. Plymouth CF Houston Hodges who hustled to the play, made a relay throw to homeplate where Eldridge was tagged out trying to score.
Two outs, right?
WRONG! It was the third out!
“The base umpire ruled it a “infield fly” which would have been, technically, out number two. But the cut down at homeplate by Hodges made that play the third out and ballgame over. I didn’t see the base umpire call the infield fly rule, so after the play at the plate, I turned to that base umpire and asked if that was three outs? He told me, that’s right you are correct!”, said Plothow.
The second controversial call happened a half inning beforehand. Bottom of the 6th, Plymouth at bat, Jacob Seagraves led off with a walk; Phil Iwinski struck out (1 out); Houston Hodges and Conner Flynn followed with back to back walks to load the bases and one out. Senior Damon Howe was the hitter. Howe grounded deep to the right side of the infield where Laporte’s Francis Silfa fielded the ball but threw it offbalanced into the Laporte dugout. Three runs scored to tie the game at 6-6. The problem was the umpires gave Damon Howe two bases instead of the one he should have been allotted. So Howe was moved to third base with one out. It allowed Kyle Cartwright to hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield and score Howe easily for an all important 8th run of the ballgame for Plymouth.
“We have been playing well lately. You have to have some luck and things go your way to win games like this. Laporte is a fantastic, well coached team. Our pitching staff just went through a 4 game in 5 day schedule. I real proud in how they performed. Next doesn’t get easier with the make-up game against Warsaw scheduled in. We will be playing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday again….all against Conference opponents. This week is big for us!”, said Plothow.
Phil Iwinski pitch well for the Pilgrims. He went 5 innings, surrenduring 4 runs on 5 hits, 4 strikeouts and 1 walk. Hayden Skirvin got the win, his first.
Plymouth plays at Goshen Monday. (weather permitting)