For four innings Concord starter Brendon Curry was tossing a perfect game but in the fifth the wheels came off – as they say – as Plymouth was able to put up six runs on just one hit.
“Those first four I was thinking we might be waiting on the JV to finish again the game was just flying by,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Wolfe. “I told them at the top of the fifth ‘guys stop pressing, things will come’. We were able to take advantage of some mistakes they made. That’s what baseball is about. We’ve been on the other end of that too.”
With Plymouth trailing 1-0 Curry got Martin Dyrcz to hit a grounder to shortstop Nick DeFreese to start of the fifth but DeFreese couldn’t make the play and Dyrcz was safe with the start of a big Pilgrim rally. Curry then walked Blake Milliser and Justin Drudge and after Elijah Nixon grounded into a double play that scored Dyrcz with the tying run. Trent Briles drew a two out walk, and pinch hitter Bailey Clark hit a soft grounder that third baseman Stephen Pinarski couldn’t handle to score Milliser with the go ahead run.
Jacob Frantz singled home pinch runner Matt Flynn with the fourth Plymouth run and with the bases loaded Dyrcz struck out to end the inning but catcher Jake Vernon couldn’t handle the ball in the dirt and when his throw to reliever Matt Williams at the plate went wide and rolled to the Concord dugout two Pilgrim runs crossed the plate.
“He (Curry) was cruising and that was the way the game was going,” said Wolfe. “I knew if we could just get a couple guys on kind of flip the confidence a little bit.”
Meanwhile Plymouth starter Joe Dragani was throwing a masterpiece of his own. After Duncan Boone hit his first pitch of the game for a double and DeFreese drove him in a few pitches later with a single, Dragani scattered just three more Concord hits and relied on a perfect Plymouth defense to breeze to his first win of the year on just 84 pitches.
“He might have had two counts of three balls on a hitter tonight and that is just phenomenal,” said Wolfe of his junior right hander. “Our defense knows he works fast the guys are on their toes and expecting the ball to be hit to them.”
Plymouth was able to plate another in the seventh on Dyrcz RBI single and even though Dragani surrendered a lead off single to Brett Neraski in the seventh – the only Concord hit after the second inning – a heads up play by second basemen Brandon Milligan wiped him out on a double play and Dragani got Brett Austin to fly out to end the game.
Plymouth (4-3) will take on Warsaw at Bill Nixon Field on Friday night.
“Anytime you get two road wins in our conference it’s huge,” said Wolfe. “Last year early in the season we were able to beat them in the bottom of the seventh and I expect this Friday to be the same kind of a game. They are always a good team and they play hard and I know they’ll be ready.”
Plymouth 0 0 0 0 6 0 1 7-4-0
Concord 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-5-3
WP – Joe Dragani (1-0). LP – Brendon Curry. 2B – Duncan Boone (C).