When Brandon Milligan’s RBI single to right drove home Jarrod Ellis with the Pilgrims the winning run in a 3-2 final, it was after 10 p.m and 17 innings after the start. The bottom line was 17 innings of outstanding pitching that resulted in 14 scoreless innings and 17 combined strikouts from five pitchers in the game.
Plymouth starter Joe Dragani was nothing short of fantastic and he was matched pitch by pitch by Goshen starter Deric Haynes. Neither was even close to the win as Plymouth brought in Joe Smith to relieve Dragani in the eighth and then Bailey Clark in th ninth. Goshen countered with Jorge Pizano. Ten innnings later it was Pizano and Clark – both nearly perfect – dueling for the win.
Goshen appeared to have it with a run in the top of the 17th off Clark with Cody Gamble relieving the big right hander. Pizano got two quick outs in the 17th but an error on a ground ball by Blake Milliser led to a dramatic two out two strike hit by Plymouth pinch hitter Elijah Nixon to score Milliser with the tying run and another two strike hit by Milligan that was the game winner.
“The resiliance of my kids – it’s about scrapping and battling and I would like to think a little bit of Saturday (a comback win over LaPorte) carried over,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “It was a long game but when you win it makes it all worth it.”
“Bailey hadn’t pitched in awhile, and for him to come in and do that was something,” said Wolfe of his reliever’s performance. “He was out there for seven innings and he didn’t come close to anything that long last year. He makes the big defensive play there in the one inning to help himself.”
While both teams had their share of outstanding defensive plays, the late error ended up being the undoing of Goshen’s upset bid.
“This game had about everything,” said Wolfe. “When you play two full games your going to see about everything and we did see everything but a home run. The wind held everything up tonight.”
Plymouth (6-5 and 3-1) plays again at Bill Nixon Field on Wednesday against Wawasee. Goshen is now 1-11 on the year.
Goshen 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2-10-3
Plymouth 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3-11-3
WP – Gamble. LP – Pizano. 2B – Haynes (G), Pearson (G), Dyrcz 2 (P).