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Unlikely finish gives Plymouth a big NLC win

April 26, 2019
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jackson lee game winner biggerPLYMOUTH — After a six innings of struggling to even get base runners, Plymouth’s Pilgrims had no end of them in the seventh in coming from four runs down to beat NorthWood by an 8-7 final on a walk off single through a drawn in infield by Jackson Lee.

“Right before the seventh I was thinking about what I was going to say about this one after giving up six runs with two outs,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “It was tough. You’re thinking, ‘we’re right there, we’re right there’ and you give them another run.”
“You’ve got to give credit to our guys, staying with it, getting down four early,” he said. “I really thought Chuy (Jesus Luva) pitched well and Cole came in and kind of kept us there. We just hung in there.”
“I think Chuy did a great job of settling in after that four runs,” said Wolfe. “He’s a great team mate, a great kid. Usually a pitcher is ticked off at that point and you’re trying to calm him down. He’s out there calming everybody else down.”
The weather forced a move from NorthWood to Plymouth’s Bill Nixon Field a place where the Panthers have historically played very well. And that’s just what they did for six innings.
Plymouth starter Jesus Luva got the first two outs of the game quickly but then the wheels came off for a while as the Panthers plated four, three of them on a big home run from Jack Wysong.
It appeared those four alone might be enough as NorthWood starter Alec Holcomb went to work and masterfully kept the Pilgrims at bay for six innings. Holcomb gave up just one earned run in six innings of work and didn’t allow a hit in his final three innings.
NorthWood would add insurance runs in the third, fifth and sixth, but each time Luva and Plymouth reliever Cole Filson — with some help from their defense — found a way to limit the damage.
Just as the first was all NorthWood, the seventh would be all Plymouth.
NorthWood coach A.J. Risedorph made the decision to bring on reliever Jason Cripe with a four run lead in the bottom of the seventh and the rest, as they say, is history.
Plymouth led off with three straight singles from Ivan Winkle, Luva and Jake Deacon. Cripe then brought the first run home, hitting Filson with a pitch and added the second hitting Ezra Winkle with a pitch.
Matt Dobuck then hit a ball to left that was misplayed by Sergio Lira Ayla to bring home the tying run, and move pinch runner Joe Barron to third as the winning run, still with no out. That led to Lee’s heroics, with a ball hit up the middle.
“Our guys have been there,” said Wolfe. “It’s hard to come back from four runs down but it’s a position that our guys have been in before. That’s why early on I safety squeezed the run home, just to get something going and see what we could do. We kept them out of the big innings and hung around.”
Grant Dexter provided that safety squeeze in the second. Three NorthWood errors in the third would help Plymouth to two more and there it stayed.
With the wind and high sky making it a very difficult day for outfielders, Plymouth’s trio of Kam VanLue, Deacon and Thomas Dolan made a lot of tough plays look very easy, keeping the Pilgrims out of the big inning.
“They stay around and they stay engaged,” said Wolfe. “Our guys are athletic enough and get great reads off the bat. Our outfielders get live reads off the bat everyday in practice and I think it shows with their ability to get great jumps.”
Plymouth now moves to 9-3, 5-1 in NLC play with a very big game against Northridge at Bill Nixon Field on Monday. The Raiders are 4-1 in conference play. NorthWood is now 8-4 and 4-2 in the conference.
•PLYMOUTH 8, NORTHWOOD 7
at Bill Nixon Field
NorthWood 4 0 1 0 1 1 0 7-7-4
Plymouth 0 1 2 0 0 0 5 8-9-1
WP — Filson. LP — Cripe. HR — Wysong. 2B — Dutkowski (NW), Lee (P).

 

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