PLYMOUTH – At times it was an adventure for the Plymouth defense and Warsaw’s Tigers were able to take advantage of some inopportune miscues to take a big NLC win at Bill Nixon Field Friday 5-1.
The Tigers were able to plate two runs almost before the final chords of the National Anthem had finished taking advantage of a couple of misplayed fly balls and a Tyler LaFollete single to stake Warsaw starter Kevin Hawley to a 2-0 lead that would actually prove to be enough.
“I’ll take the blame for that and we’re going to change things up in the next game,” said Plymouth Head Coach Ryan Wolfe. “Seems like we go on the road we get off the bus and we’re ready to play. We’re at home and we seem to give up some early runs and we can never get over the hump there.”
Hawley was outstanding on the mound mixing a curve ball, change up and fastball to keep Plymouth hitters off balance and continually making big pitches to get out of any rallies that the Pilgrims could mount.
Hawley was the beneficiary of some solid defensive play by those behind him as well, in particular shortstop Justin Oberlin who started a pair of inning ending double plays, one of which ending the game.
“He kept the ball down and got the ground balls when he needed them and defensively they played great,” said Wolfe. “Their shortstop (Justin Oberin) is a vacuum every ball hit to him.”
Plymouth starter Josh Frantz certainly pitched well enough to win, settling in after the tough luck first to get to the fifth keeping his team in position to win the game. At that point with the bases loaded Plymouth reliever Cody Gamble came on to shut the door and turn the Tigers away from what could have been a big inning.
Meanwhile Hawley was able to scatter 11 Plymouth hits and until a single from catcher Elijah Nixon dropped just beyond Tiger first baseman Caleb Moneyheffer’s reach to score Blake Milliser from second with the only Plymouth run in the sixth.
“I thought we made some good adjustments tonight the other night we had some trouble staying on the breaker tonight we made some good adjustments,” said Wolfe. “We hit into some double plays, (Hawley) is a good pitcher and he kept us off balance but I give my guys some credit they battled.”
Justin Drudge had three hits for the Pilgrims, Nixon added two more hits – including a double to go with his RBI single. Martin Dyrcz doubled and Gamble did as well as part of a two hit night.
Plymouth is now 4-5 on the year and 2-1 in NLC play with a game at LaPorte today. Warsaw is now 5-2 and 3-0 in the conference.
Warsaw 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 5-6-0
Plymouth 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1-11-3
WP – Hawley. LP – Frantz. 2B – Dyrcz (P), Gamble (P), Nixon (P), Shipp (W),