SOUTH BEND – After a rough season start at home a win on the road had the Plymouth Pilgrims feeling good about their season on the brink of starting conference play.
Plymouth invaded foreign territory for the first time in the new season and came away a winner in spite of a great pitching performance by South Bend Washington senior Mark Arrowsmith winning 2-1.
While Arrowsmith threw just 55 pitches and only allowed hits by Pilgrims Jarrod Ellis, Elijah Nixon and Cody Gamble, two Plymouth pitchers combined to pitch a gem of their own. Starter Jacob Frantz allowed just two hits and a run in his four innings of work to take the win. Gamble came on to surrender three hits in three shut out innings for the save.
“I like the lefty-righty combo and later on we have Joe Smith in the bullpen to go for the righty-lefty kind of thing,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “It’s what we want – to change sides – and it’s a change of pace too. Cody throws a little harder than Jacob so those two did a great job.”
After striking out the first two Washington hitters Frantz gave up a run when he walked Troy Ericson and then surrendered a double to Justice Gustafson in the first inning. Frantz then kept the Panther hitters off stride and popping up until giving way to Gamble in the fifth.
Gamble struck out two more Washington hitters and escaped trouble in the fifth and seventh striking out Panther catcher Michael Payne to end the game with the winning run on base. Washington failed to get a big hit after the first stranding 11 runners in the game.
Plymouth scored in the third inning when Ellis led off with a single advanced on a passed ball, moved to third on a ground out by Brandon Milligan scoring on a ground out by Frantz with the South Bend infield back.
In the fourth Blake Milliser reached on an error, once again moved to second on a passed ball and with Washington choosing to once again play their infield back – scored on ground outs by Martin Dyrcz and Brayden Davidson.
It was the Plymouth defense that was the star of the night – Ellis in particular making two run saving plays at first – one that salvaged an inning ending double play in the Washington sixth.
“(Defense) won us the ball game,” said Wolfe. “Our two players of the game – picked by our players – were Cody Gamble and Jarrod Ellis. Jarrod made a couple of big plays at first here, our infielders better be thanking him. Last night I went home thinking that we’ve got to work on some defense and tonight it showed up.”
Plymouth moves to 2-2 on the year with a home game on Saturday with Rochester at Bill Nixon Field.
Plymouth 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2-3-0
SB Wash. 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-5-3
WP – Frantz (1-1). LP – Arrowsmith. S – Gamble. 2B- Gustafson 2 (W).