PLYMOUTH – In a battle of first place contenders it was Elkhart Memorial coming away the big winner Wednesday night at Bill Nixon Field taking a 7-1 win over Plymouth.
The game turned out to have even more significance as Wawasee picked up their first NLC win over Warsaw putting the Chargers in sole possession – for the moment – of the top slot in the conference with a 6-2 record. Plymouth, NorthWood and Warsaw stand at 5-3, Northridge is a half game off the pace at 4-2.
“You look out there on the board seven in one inning,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “You give up seven in one inning and it’s tough to come back from especially when you have two good pitchers going. I thought their pitcher (Jake Tucker) did a fantastic job of keeping us off balance, we hit some balls right at them. We couldn’t muster up any consistency at the plate tonight and that’s a credit to him. Our plan is to hit a lot tomorrow at practice.”
Offensively the whole ballgame was played in a six out span. Literally.
A brilliant pitchers duel through four, Plymouth got to Tucker in the bottom of the frame when Justin Drudge led off with a double and scored on a ground out by Martin Dyrcz.
In the top of the fifth Memorial would send 11 men to the plate, score seven runs on seven hits off starter Joe Dragani.
Joe Smith came on to get the innings final out and pitch two more innings of shut out ball, but Plymouth couldn’t mount a threat in their last three at bats.
“When he’s (Tucker) around the plate all night you know you can’t be taking many pitches,” said Wolfe. “You have to be aggressive. They made six errors the first time we played them. They didn’t have any tonight. You take away six errors and play some solid defense behind a guy that throws strikes and they’re going to be tough to beat.”
Brayden Davidson was one Plymouth hitter who had Tucker figured out with a two for three night. George Stults and Jacob Frantz doubled for Plymouth.
“The second time through (the NLC schedule) it’s about who gets better,” said Wolfe. “They’ve improved. We have to keep getting better. We have to bounce back. It doesn’t get any easier.
“We have to have a good day of practice tomorrow and practice with some intensity. I wasn’t real happy with our intensity coming out tonight, and we’ll have a hard practice tomorrow.”
Plymouth moves to 8-7 on the year and 5-3 in conference play, with a home game Friday against Concord. Memorial is now 11-7-1 and 6-2 in the NLC.
Memorial 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 7-13-0
Plymouth 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1-7-0
WP – Tucker (5-1). LP – Dragani (1-2). 2B- Frantz (P), Stults (P), Drudge (P), Bailey (M).