PLYMOUTH – It was a strange night that ended in a Plymouth loss with South Bend St. Joe clubbing the Pilgrims by a final of 16-5 in six innings.
The Pilgrims battled through five but a grand slam by St. Joe’s Danny Torres in the five run run third and four walks in the five run sixth were the end to any Plymouth momentum. Starter Caleb Mikesell deserved a better fate, walking just one hitter in four innings and suffering from the difficulty of playing right field at Bill Nixon Field.
“I knew in spots that we were young,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “When you look at the flag and the way that wind was blowing and the sum isn’t going anywhere that’s just the way it is. Their right fielder had some issues too…when you haven’t played out there and you play a good ball club that puts the ball in play.”
“Obviously early on we gave them some. We’re still making some young mistakes. We’re only going to get better.”
Mikesell gave up four hits in the critical third, including Torres home run, but recovered to throw a flawless fourth. Meanwhile the Pilgrims fought to stay close with three in the second and squandering a great opportunity in the third getting just one run with the bases loaded and nobody out.
Plymouth was able to get another in the fifth when St. Joe reliever Corey Incandela walked three hitters to start the inning but was able to recover to get a double play and ground out to end the inning.
Learning curve still entered into the course of the game, especially in right field.
“You don’t know what you need to get better on until you make some of those mistakes,” said Wolfe. “It takes someone special to play there. You can’t simulate stuff like that. We practice out there. But in the game it’s a different thing. Balls off the bat tail. But you just can’t simulate stuff like that. Until you get in situations like that you can’t rep them in practice.”
Wolfe was complimentary of his starting pitcher.
“It was a game where anything that could happen did,” said Wolfe. “I thought Caleb (Mikesell) battled. You gotta battle sometimes. Some things don’t go your way and some things are out of your control and a lot of those things were out of his control. He’s going to throw a lot of innings for us. His potential is very high.”
It’s a short recovery time for the Pilgrims (1-1) as they come back on Tuesday night with a game at Bill Nixon Field against Rochester.
St. Joe 2 1 5 0 2 6 16-13-1
Plymouth 0 3 1 0 1 0 5-5-2
WP – Andrew Milgas. LP – Caleb Mikesell (0-1). HR – Torres (SJ). 2B – Torres (SJ), Drudge (P), Kelley (SJ), Stesiak (SJ).