By Rusty Nixon
SYRACUSE – It was a thrilling win with a touch of disappointment as Plymouth took a road NLC win over Wawasee by a 5-2 score.
The disappointment was that Plymouth starter Braydon Davidson took a no hitter into the seventh, only to see it disappear off the leg of the umpire – literally. Davidson started the inning striking out Lucas Garza but Garza was able to reach base on a dropped third strike. The next hitter Jacob Garcia hit a sharp grounder headed toward Pilgrim second baseman Caleb Mikesell for a possible double play except that it ricocheted off the leg of base umpire John Brown for the only hit of the game.
“He (Davidson) pitched great, it was one of those games where if he had not been in the position he was in I probably wouldn’t have sent him back out there (for the seventh inning),” said Plymouth coach Ryan Wolfe. “He went over our pitch count where we wanted him to be. He pitched very well.
“Early he had his curveball. He made some adjustments and was really able to use his fastball to get ahead in the count.”
Meanwhile Wawasee starter Jacob Garcia was having a great night of his own keeping the Plymouth hitters off balance most of the night. Plymouth had just four hits in the game.
“These kind of nights are going to make it a grind it out kind of game,” said Wolfe. “You’re not going to pound out 10 hits or anything like that. I thought their pitcher did a great job. He was ahead of every hitter with fastballs.”
Plymouth struck for two earned runs in the fifth when Nate Nixon reached on a base hit and scored when Jeremy Drudge put the ball on the ground on a hit and run and a throwing error by second baseman Jamie Slabaugh let Nixon come around to score the game’s first run and allowed Drudge to move to third. He scored moments later on Davidson’s sacrifice fly.
Wawasee struck back for an unearned run of their own in the bottom half with a pair of two out walks and a wild pitch. The Warriors could manage just one more on the night.
“You knew early on you didn’t want to hit the ball in the air,” said Wolfe. “The wind was going to push it down. It might play havoc with who was going to catch it but you were probably going to be out. We felt if we could get the ball on the ground we could do some things. The inning we were able to get through we had a hit and run on, Jeremy was able to get the ball through, they threw it around a little bit and we were able to score some runs and put some pressure on them.”
The Pilgrims pushed one more across in the sixth when Drudge was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and then added two more in the seventh on a single by Benji Nixon.
Plymouth (7-4) plays at home on Thursday night against Logansport, and returns to NLC play with a big matchup with NorthWood on Friday at Bill Nixon Field.
Plymouth 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 5-4-0
Wawasee 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2-1-3
WP – Davidson (4-1). LP – Garcia.